Archive for the ‘Gila Monster’ Tag

Gila Monster   Leave a comment

Gila Monster — Image by kenne

Their movement is slow

Blending in with dead branches

Our presence ignored.

— kenne

A Gila Monster Spring   Leave a comment

A Gila Monster Spring (Sabino Canyon) — Image by kenne

Gila monsters are heavy-bodied lizards covered with beadlike scales, called osteoderms, that are black and
yellow or pink covering all but their belly. The Gila monster is venomous; its venom is made by a row of glands
in the lizard’s lower jaw. When the lizard bites, small grooves in the teeth help the venom flow into its prey. The
bite of a Gila monster is very strong, and the lizard may not loosen its grip for several seconds. It may even
chew so that the venom goes deeper into the wound. 

As the name might suggest, the Gila (pronounced HEE-la) monster has one of the worst reputations in the
reptile world. This lizard is often feared and has been described as frightful and repulsive, especially in local
Source: San Diego Zoo

Gila Monster Close-up   1 comment

Gila Monster Close-up — Image by

“Gila monsters have beaded scales in colorful patterns. Gila monsters are
the largest lizards native to the United States. They get their name from
Arizona’s Gila River basin, where they were first discovered. 
Gila monsters are also one of only two venomous lizards in the world.”

The Sonoran Deserts’ Monster   Leave a comment

Gila Monster — Image by kenne

The Gila monster is a large, heavy- bodied lizard reaching a little over 1¼ feet in length.
The head is large, with small, beady eyes; the tail is short and fat. The family name
Helodermatidae means warty skin, referring to the beaded look of the dorsal scales,
due to the presence of osteoderms (small bones) under the scales.
The lizard is bright pink and black, usually in a reticulated pattern,
but in a banded pattern in some populations.

— Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 

Gila Monster In Sabino Canyon   2 comments

Gila Monster-72-2.jpgGila Monster In Sabino Canyon — Image by kenne


Our First Gila Monster Of The Season   Leave a comment

gila monster-1632 blogGila Monster — Image by kenne

Not monsters at all, Gila monsters are one of the few species of venomous lizards on the planet. These carnivores are classified as near threatened and are native to the Sonoran Desert. We saw this lizard moving near and under desert bushes in the Saguaro National Park yesterday. Although these carnivores are classified as near threatened, they can be commonly seen this time of year scavenging for food after spending the winter underground.

— kenne

A Gila Monster Outing In Sabino Canyon   Leave a comment

Gila Monater (1 of 1)-2 blog

Gila Monater (1 of 1) blog

A Gila Monster Outing in Sabino Canyon — Images by kenne

A giant lizard
easy to see, slow to move —
attention getter.

— kenne

Beady-eyed Monster   2 comments

Gila Monster Collage blogGila Monster Collage (Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, August 3, 2015) — Images by kenne

Looking for a Date   2 comments

Gila Monster (1 of 1) blogGila Monster — Image by kenne

Gila Monster Sightings   1 comment

Gila Moster (1 of 1) blogGila Monster — Image by kenne

Frequent sightings
driven by hunger and
spring mating —
morning walks in
black, pink and orange.

— kenne

Capturing The Moment — Gila Monster In Sabino Canyon   1 comment

Gila Monster (1 of 1)-32 blog

Gila Monster (1 of 1)-28 blog

Gila Monster (1 of 1)-31 blogGila Monster (September 5, 2014) Images by kenne

Cub Scouts Observe a Gila Monster On Junior Ranger Nature Walk   1 comment

Gila Monster_20120518_0419 blogGila Monster — Image by kenne

This morning I took a small group of Cub Scouts and parents on a Junior Ranger nature walk in Sabino Canyon. The walk is only a quarter and is designed to increase their knowledge of the desert. Although the gila monster is reasonably common to the Sonoran desert, they spend 90% of their time underground except during the mating season, which is May and June. This morning’s sighting made the scout’s day! (Mine too!)

After completing the walk, the scouts were awarded a Sabino Canyon Junior Ranger certificate.


Capturing The Moment — Gila Monster   Leave a comment

Gila Monster II blogGila Monster — Image by Stuart Salasche

While hiking the Esperero trail Friday, I met fellow hiker Stuart Salasche — long story short, he showed me a photo of a gila monster he took with his iPhone. He sent it to me and now I share it with you.


Capturing The Moment — Gila Monster In The Canyon   1 comment

Gila Monster — Image by kenne

While watching a mother deer with two young ones near the tram road in Sabino Canyon, this gila monster got my attention.

Posted April 17, 2012 by kenneturner in Capturing the Moment, Nature, Photography

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