Broom Snakeweed or Rabbitbrush Gutierrezia sarothrae and G. microcephala Family: Compositae (Asteracae), Sunflower Family, Perennial Blooms in Late Summer/Fall Habitat Preferred: loves overgrazed, and disturbed areas Bloom Color: Yellow

Дата канвертавання20.04.2016
Памер15.29 Kb.

Broom Snakeweed or Rabbitbrush
Gutierrezia sarothrae and G. microcephala

Family: Compositae (Asteracae), Sunflower Family , Perennial
Blooms in Late Summer/Fall
Habitat Preferred: loves overgrazed, and disturbed areas
Bloom Color: Yellow (tiny flowers, but masses of them)
Comments: These plants are indicators, when found in profusion, of overgrazing by cattle or disturbed areas.

Sagebrush, Artemisia filifolia

a pleasantly aromatic perennial shrub with a woody texture growing to a height of two to four feet.

  • Having a deciduous habit, this light grayish-green colored shrub looses its narrow threadlike silvery leaves [7], in the fall and into the winter. The shrub has medium-to-fine texture in summer and coarse in winter.

  • The bloom period is from August through mid-September with yellow bloom colors producing copious amounts of pollen, which when briefly displayed, the white seed heads seed heads are showy. [1]

  • It is known to grow in sandy soils and is often consequently found in gullies and arroyos.

  • Artemisia filifolia grows at elevations ranging from 4000 to 6000 [11] feet in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, parts of Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and as far north as South Dakota.

Four-wing Saltbush
Atriplex canescens

Family: Chenopodiaceae, Goosefoot Family ; Perennial

Plant Size: Generally less than 6' (1.8 M) in our area.
Blooms in: Summer; Origin: Native
Bloom Color: Tiny whitish, inconspicuous flowers followed by masses of four-winged seeds.
Comments: This is a very important plant in our area. The plant is salt-tolerant, is an excellent erosion-inhibitor, and provides wonderful habitat for wildlife. The seeds are edible by humans, birds and mammals. The foliage tastes salty. Males and females are separate plants (it's dioecious), which is why you see plants with masses of seeds (females) next to plants with none (males).

Desert Cottontail
Sylvilagus auduboni
Family Leporidae -
Rabbits and Hares
Order: Lagomorpha

To avoid overheating, desert cottontails have higher activity periods at night; light-colored fur to minimize absorption of solar heat; and large ears, with blood vessels just below the skin level, that can radiate body heat to the air. When temperatures climb above eighty degrees Fahrenheit, the cottontails’ activity level decreases significantly.

Cottontails can breed at eighty days old, then mate again soon after giving birth. Adults live to about two years old.

A male's home range may be up to fifteen acres in size. A female's home range can be less than one acre.

Cottontails have been known to swim or climb trees when pursued by prey.

The cottontail's tail functions as an alarm signal. When a rabbit raises its tail, the large white patch of fur on the bottom is exposed, serving as a warning signal to other cottontails.

One characteristic of the lagomorphs is that there is a latticework of openings on each side of the skull. These are called "fenestrations." The word is from the Latin word "fenestra," meaning "window."

Desert cottontails are more "colonial" than jackrabbits. They may not interact with their neighbors, but they tolerate closer neighbors than do jackrabbits. Desert cottontails rarely stray far from their natal or birthplace area.

Whiptail Lizards

Cnemidophorus velox,

What Kind of an Animal is It?

Lizards are vertebrate animals (with backbones). They belong to the class of Reptiles, animals with a number of advanced features:

Whiptail Lizards and Parthenogenesis (Virgin Birth)

In 15 of the Cnemidophorus species there are no males. They reproduce without fertilization, a process known as parthenogenesis of "virgin birth". Parthenogenesis is well known in lower animals, such as aphids,bees, and Daphnia but is rare in vertebrates. The offspring of parthenogenic lizards are clones, identical to the mother.

There are some advantages to a parthenogenic lifestyle:

  • All members of your species can lay eggs and reproduction is more efficient

  • Good mutations are passed on more efficiently in clones than in sexual species

  • You don't waste a lot of time and energy searching for a mate (this might not be true in this species, since the females do pair up)

One of the surprising things about unisexual whiptail reproduction is that a courtship ritual is still required even though there is only one sex. Unisexual whiptails pair up. In the courtship ritual one female takes the part of a male, while the other takes the role of a female. Later the 2 lizards switch roles. The switch is caused by hormones: estrogen promotes female behavior; progesterone stimulates male behavior. The mating ritual is required for survival of the species: without it few eggs are released (ovulation).

Greater Roadrunner

(Geococcyx californianus)
Curious Facts

Roadrunners are quick enough to catch and eat rattlesnakes.

Roadrunners prefer walking or running and attain speeds up to 17 mph. hour

The Roadrunner is also called the Chaparral Cock.

The Roadrunner reabsorbs water from its feces before excretion.

The Roadrunner’s nasal gland eliminates excess salt, instead of using the urinary tract like most birds.

Kangaroo Rat

Dipodomys sp.
Curious Facts

Kangaroo Rats are small, seed-eating rodents of the genus Dipodomys.

Kangaroo Rats, are adapted for survival in an arid environment.

Many of the 22 species of Kangaroo Rats occur only in California.

Kangaroo Rats have the ability to convert the dry seeds they eat into water.

Kangaroo Rats neither sweat nor pant like other animals to keep cool.

Kangaroo Rats have specialized kidneys which allow them to dispose of waste materials with very little output of water.

Most Kangaroo Rats hop on their hind feet, using their tails for balance.

Red Tailed Hawk

Buteo sp.
Curious Facts

Hawks are carnivores (meat eaters) who belong to the category of birds known as raptors.

The Red-tailed Hawk is the most common member of the buzzard hawk family.

The eyesight of a hawk is 8 times as powerful as a human's.

Like all hawks, the Red-tailed Hawk's talons are its main weapons.

The Red-tailed Hawk has hoarse and rasping 2- to3-second scream that is most commonly heard while soaring.

85 to 90 % of the Red-tailed Hawk's diet is composed of small rodents.

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