Chuckwalla

chuckwalla

The chuckwalla is a diurnal lizard that emerges from its rocky shelter to bask in the sun and forage for leaves and fruit during the day. When faced with a coyote, hawk or other predator, the chuckwalla scurries into a rock crevice and inflates its body to wedge in tight for protection.

Green Basilisk

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A member of the iguana family, the green basilisk lizard spends most of its time in the trees and is never far from water. When faced with danger, the basilisk will drop from a tree into the water and sprint across the water’s surface on specially designed feet to escape.

 

Yellow Pond Turtle

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An omnivore, the yellow pond turtle uses its beak-like jaws to eat both small animals and aquatic plants. A semi-aquatic species, the yellow pond turtle has webbed toes and never strays far from water. Most active at night, it spends a good deal of time basking during the day.

Lace Monitor

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During the breeding season, a female lace monitor digs a hole in a termite mound and lays up to 12 eggs inside. The termites patch up the hole, keeping the monitor eggs warm inside. The female returns about nine months later when the eggs hatch to help the hatchlings dig their way out.

The lace monitor uses its long sharp claws to climb trees and seeks shelter in tree hollows.

 

Loggerhead Musk Turtle

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When threatened, the loggerhead musk turtle secretes a foul-smelling liquid from glands at the base of its tail that has earned it the nickname ‘stinkpot’. Growing up to five inches long, this omnivorous turtle is found in muddy-bottomed lakes, ponds, and streams in the southeastern United States.

Parrot Snake

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The parrot snake is long and slender with a distinctive lime green color. Native to South America, this snake is arboreal and spends most of its days in the trees looking for prey such as frogs, grasshoppers and birds. It can be very aggressive and will display dummy strikes if threatened to ward off predators. Though the parrot snake is not venomous, it has up to 36 teeth that can inflict a painful bite.

Eastern Indigo Snake

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This marvelous blue-black snake is the longest non-venomous snake found in the United States, reaching lengths of up to nine feet. There may be a slight red or cream-colored area on the chin or cheeks.  It hunts for small mammals, birds, frogs, fish, and even other snakes during the day.

Helmeted Turtle

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Making its home in temporary marshes, mud pits and watering holes of the savannah, the helmeted turtle is an aggressive predator of small aquatic creatures.  Groups of helmeted turtles have been known to work together to take down larger prey such as a bird.  At the end of the rainy season, the turtle burrows into a mud hole bottom until the rains return.

Florida Pine Snake

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The Florida pine snake burrows in sandy soils of pine woodlands and scrubland in the Southeastern United States. It primarily preys on pocket gophers, but also eats other small mammals, lizards, and eggs. Though non-venomous, it will inflate its body, rattle its tail and hiss loudly when threatened.

Matamata

Mata Mata Turtle (31) web

The matamata turtle sits camouflaged on the bottom of a stream and waits for an unsuspecting fish to swim by. Once a fish is within reach, the turtle thrusts its head forward, opens its mouth as wide as possible and sucks in the fish like a vacuum. The turtle swallows the fish whole.