Actually, that’s not exactly correct, because ground squirrels also inhabit the desert environments of the Pacific Crest Trail. The lizards though, are abundant. They scurry through the undergrowth, watch you while perched on sunlit rocks, and make ill-timed trail crossings that narrowly evade your steps.
Here’s just a sample of some of the diverse reptilian wildlife that stalk the trail at ground level:
Sunning, what lizards do best. Notice the intricate patterns on its back, that look like something between camouflage and indigenous art.
My favorite lizard ever, the thorned lizard. These guys are covered with both horns and spiny scales, so they’re not as skiddish as other lizards. We’ve only had a few sightings of this species on the trail so far.
The survivor. Quite a few lizards are missing their tails, meaning they probably narrowly escaped death.
These buggers are fast. They’re some of the largest lizards on the trail, well over a foot length with the tail included.
The thug of the trail lizards- these guys are pretty large and robust and don’t skitter away immediately. They like to set up shop on large, sunny rocks and do push-up contests.
Beautiful green and blue undertones within the scales can be seen if they stay still long enough to let you see.
Small but striking.
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