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Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard

By:
, , , and
Edited by:
Edward T. LaRoe, Gaye S. Farris, Catherine E. Puckett, Peter D. Doran, and Michael J. Mac

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Abstract

Fringe-toed lizards (Uma spp.) inhabit many of the scattered windblown sand deposits of southeastern California, southwestern Arizona, and northwestern Mexico. These lizards have several specialized adaptations: elongated scales on their hind feet ("fringes") for added traction in loose sand, a shovel-shaped head and a lower jaw adapted to aid diving into and moving short distances beneath the sand, elongated scales covering their ears to keep sand out, and unique morphology (form or structure) of internal nostrils that allows them to breathe below the sand without inhaling sand particles.             

While these adaptations enable fringe-toed lizards to successfully occupy sand dune habitats, the same characteristics have restricted them to isolated sand "islands." Three fringe-toed lizard species live in the United States: the Mojave (U. scoparia), the Colorado Desert (U. notata), and the Coachella Valley (U. inornata). Of the three, the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard has the most restricted range and has been most affected by human activities. In 1980 this lizard was listed as a threatened species by the federal government.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Book chapter
Publication Subtype:
Book Chapter
Title:
Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard
Year Published:
1995
Language:
English
Publisher:
National Biological Service
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Description:
2 p.
Larger Work Type:
Book
Larger Work Subtype:
Monograph
Larger Work Title:
Our living resources: A report to the nation on the distribution, abundance, and health of U.S. plants, animals, and ecosystems
First page:
137
Last page:
138
Country:
United States
State:
Arizona, California
Other Geospatial:
Coachella Valley