Meet Our Animals > Chuckwalla
Quick Facts
Native to Rocky deserts of the western United States and northwestern Mexico
Primary Diet Desert vegetation including bushes, leaves and fruit; insects
Adult Weight 2 pounds
Lifespan 25 years
Status Stable


The chuckwalla belongs to the iguana family of animals. Chuckwallas are petite, averaging just 6.4 inches in length, but adults can reach lengths of over 15 inches. To escape predators, they take shelter in small holes and crevices, inflating its lungs and expanding its skin to wedge itself into place. The colors of a chuckwalla further help it camouflage and blend into its surroundings. These lizards burrow in crevices to hibernate during the winter as well.


For faster entry: Members and pre-ticketed guests, park at West End (enter at 106th St).