For this part of the journey, I met up with Lucas B., Hellihooks and Gecko Guy. We focused on finding desert herps, and I was especially keen on getting tracks, scat and sheds for whatever species we came across. Hellihooks already shared some of that journey via his Tubular Trip post:http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10722
. Some of the other fun bits for the few days I spent with them are...
This was another lifer for me... CA legless lizard! It was a lovely silvery creature. The tracks it left were very snake like, not surprisingly. But they did appear fairly regular in their form (like nice sine waves) not unlike the sand skink in FL.
Look it that lovely face!
Tiny eyes, nostrils with valves, countersunk lower jaw. All features vital to a fossorial lifestyle. Found this guy thanks to Jim (Hellihooks)!!
Another lifer for me was the next creature, also found thanks to Jim...
Blainville's Horned lizard! Cute as a bug's ear!
This was my first ever Blainville's horned lizard. I was luck to find several more with Nature Nate later at the tail end of the trip.
We also got to visit a friend of Jim's who has some gorgoues Crot's and use them as models for some trails and gaits for the book. Here is one of the ruber's:
The ruber was huge, and at that time, was the biggest I had ever seen. As you can see, its a lovely animal.
Here is one of the trails from the ruber:
Many heavy bodied snakes tend to use fairly straight methods of locomotion as their baseline form of movement. With Crot's it is generally shallow lateral undulations (as in the photo above) or rectilinear locomotion. Rectilinear locomotion is also used by boas as well. Here is a rectilinear trail from that lovely rosy boa Jim found.
This was one of his helleri that I was hoping to get a trail from, but apparently it was too cold and not feeling well. I was not posing this snake for a nice photo shot, instead, Jim placed it there as it was a good location for leaving trails. No luck, though. But, I did get to photograph some nice lay spots from helleri, thanks to Jim.
See the way the gravel is pushed away from 2 areas in the enter of the frame? Those are both lay spots where the animals had hung out, thermoregulating. If you look close, you can see an old, withered scat.
One more post from the trip coming up!