A Tale of No Tail

A common side-blotched lizard with a missing tail clings to a mound of dirt on Brown's Ranch Road in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona

This lovely little creature is a common side-blotched lizard. It doesn’t get a fun name like the Gila monster but the name is descriptive enough, they are both common and have a dark spot right behind their front legs (making them one of the few lizards I can currently identify). What you might notice once you can get past its beauty is that it is missing its tail. Many lizards can shed their tails if a predator grabs hold of it, remarkable in and of itself, but even more remarkably the tail can regrow (potentially with different coloration than the original).

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