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Posted by Marty Feldner on December 31, 2002 at 14:37:21:
In Reply to: Hi Marty......................... posted by tgreb on December 31, 2002 at 10:26:57:
Thought it might have been mostly for convenience. You can certainly get away with a long brumation up there in the frigid north. Winter basking (or should it be called thermoregulation since it is often done in cracks or under rock? I have frequently tried to figure out what basking is exactly, and even those university types don't seem to have a set definition.), which we know is fairly common in the wild, may be common in chucks specifically for the purposes of digestion. It would be an interesting study if someone wanted to look into the physiological and behavioral adaptation associated with digestion in herbivorous desert lizards. Difficult, but interesting.
In general, I agree that chucks in the wild at lower elevations go down around October and come up in April. At least in terms of open basking. Since I have no experience with varius I can only base my observations on AZ and CA chucks, but it appears that these chucks aren't seeking a refuge and staying down. To me it seems like there is a behavioral shift towards the end and beginning of the season where chucks no longer bask openly (or at least basking on top of rocks) but are still active and feeding. To me, it seems as if lower elevation chucks are really only inactive and not feeding for a short time (when there's food available) during the cooler months. I think I need to start taking more complete notes on what I see chucks doing and when during the early and late portions of the season. If only they had rattles. LOL.