Monday, July 22, 2013

Common Collared Lizard

The Collared Lizard is found with many races across the greater part of the southwest United States and northern Mexico. Erika and I found this one in New Mexico's Mal Pais National Monument.

Collard Lizards are able to run on their hind legs, at speeds approaching 16 mph, allowing them to prey upon relatively large prey, even other lizards. They will also vegetarian, but prefer insects. They tend to be territorial and often bask, like this lizard, on rocks in the sun. When threatened, these lizards quickly disappear under rocks or vegetation. They do not often shed their tails because of predators.

Other lizards can run even faster than Collared Lizards—the world’s record is 21 mph by Spiny-tailed Iguanas (Wikipedia). Alligators are also capable of upright locomotion—perhaps thus responsible for Big Foot sightings in Louisiana swamps.

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