Thursday, November 19, 2015

Winter is Coming

           Winter has arrived in Colorado, and the greatest evidence of this other than the temperature and precipitation, is the animals. Reptiles, as you know, are cold-blooded and cannot regulate their body temperature internally like mammals can. Around here, the most common lizard is the Northwestern Fence lizard. The latin name for this critter is Sceloporus occidentalis occidentalis. These lizards have seen a decline in my area in last few years and I have started seeing more of them this year.

(The Male Individual)
            These lizards have an obvious sexual dimorphism and the two specimens I caught inside my house the last two weeks are prime examples of this. The first one I found was small, approximately 4-5 inches from head to tip of the tail. It was a light tan with virtually no blue on its underside. Then a few days later, after releasing the first one, I caught another far larger fence lizard in my house. This one was 6-8 inches from head to tail and had far darker colors. The underside of this lizard consisted of a bright phosphorescent blue tint to is belly scales.

(Male's Underside)
          The individual with the blue underside and dark color was obiovusly an older male, while the smaller one was probably a female. These lizards are fantastic animals and are non-aggressive. They are hardy and have evolved to survive in the tough conditions of America's arid deserts. Take a look at a few more images!

(Female Specimen)

(Female Specimen)

(Female Specimen)

(Male Specimen)

(Male Individual)

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