GUESS WHO’S IN THE DESERT Fun Facts
By Charline Profiri
Because their X-shaped feet point in two directions, you can’t tell if
they’re coming or going.
Roadrunners don’t “beep-beep” like the cartoon bird. They coo, clack,
bark, growl, whine and whirr.
Sheep can walk on ledges only two inches wide.
can leap from ledge to ledge over spans as wide as a two-lane street.
· When afraid, a Desert Tortoise makes hissing, popping and poinking sounds.
plants and live thirty-five to forty years.
Bobcats are named for their tails, which appear to be cut
food is rabbit.
The cactus wren
is Arizona’s state bird.
Cactus wren nests are the size and shape of a
Gambel’s quail often
form groups known as coveys, which may total twenty or more birds.
"ka-KAA-ka-ka," to locate a mate or other covey member and
"chip-chip-chip" when alarmed.
A rattlesnake can
move its rattle back and forth sixty or more times per second.
The rattle is
made of the same protein (keratin) as human hair and fingernails.
· A new segment is
added each time a rattlesnake sheds.
Their name comes
from the Spanish word for javelin, which refers to their sharp tusks.
A pungent musk
gland on the top of their rumps emits a strong scent. They rub their scent on
rocks and tree stumps to mark their territory, and on each other to help with
Male tarantulas can live twelve years;
females can live twice as long.
Desert tarantulas live in deep burrows lined with silk
webbing to prevent cave-ins.
The Gila monster,
named for the Gila River in Arizona, is one of only two venomous lizards in the world. It
is the largest lizard native to the
The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration approved a drug to manage type 2 diabetes based on a
protein from Gila monster saliva. The drug is sometimes called “lizard spit.”
Elf owls can catch prey in total darkness by using their
ears to find it.
When captured, they play dead until danger has passed.
The gray fox is
the only fox that can climb trees.
If a gray fox has
more food than it can eat at one time, it will hide the remaining food and mark
the spot by peeing on it.
These bats have very long, bristle-like tongues, with which they sip
nectar from agave and night-blooming cacti.
They also like to feed from hummingbird feeders.
This bat is an important
pollinator of many desert agaves and cacti.
are members of the dog family. They mate for life.
Coyotes "sing" to communicate with other coyote
families and to keep track of their own family members.
are young humans who come in various skin colors, sizes, shapes.
and curious creatures bring joy to their families, teachers, and friends.