© Joseph Dougherty. All rights reserved.
Sceloporus magister Hallowell, 1854
Desert Spiny Lizard
Like many desert lizards, desert spiny lizards adjust their internal temperature by changing color so they are darker during cool times, which allows them to absorb more heat from the sun, and become lighter during warm times so they reflect more solar radiation. The desert spiny lizard also uses camouflage so it is not so easily seen by predators.
Many desert reptiles spend the hottest parts of the day inactive in burrows or under rockpiles, escaping the sun's searing heat. Burrows are much cooler than temperatures on the ground's surface. Reptiles are most active early in the day and at twilight.