HORNED LIZARD- Hibernation

Right now, in the Arizona desert, Horned Lizards are waiting out the winter, hibernating. The question is — where? I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History. We’re listening to the sounds of a radio transmitter, used to track down the elusive lizards.

Wade Sherbrooke is the Director of the Southwest Research Station in Portal, Arizona. During the summer months, when the lizards are out and about, he attaches tiny radio transmitters to them with a special glue.

“I put radio transmitters on them and go around with a receiver and antennae and locate those animals because I*ve been curious about what sites they would chose to utilize for their hibernation over the winter. And I*ve been very surprised. Before I started this I had worked with horned lizards for twenty years and if you had gone out with me and said ‘Well, Wade, where do you think the horned lizards hibernate?’ And I would have said ‘Well, you see these shrubs over here and all the leaves and leaf litter under it? They crawl under all that stuff and then they dig under the soil with their body, which they do at other times of the year as well, and they hibernate down there.’ Well, recently I found that that’s not the case at all. They’re always out in exposed open areas; they’re never under the shrubs. They essentially drive their bodies with vibratory movements from one side to the other into the soil and they’re down an inch or two.”

We’d like to hear about the way that you track or celebrate the seasons of your year. Please call our toll-free number, 1-877-PULSE99. That’s toll-free, 1-877-PULSE99.

Additional funding for Pulse of the Planet has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

HORNED LIZARD- Hibernation

This month, horned lizards are waiting out the hot southwestern heat in hibernation. But where?
Air Date:12/17/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

Right now, in the Arizona desert, Horned Lizards are waiting out the winter, hibernating. The question is -- where? I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History. We're listening to the sounds of a radio transmitter, used to track down the elusive lizards.

Wade Sherbrooke is the Director of the Southwest Research Station in Portal, Arizona. During the summer months, when the lizards are out and about, he attaches tiny radio transmitters to them with a special glue.

"I put radio transmitters on them and go around with a receiver and antennae and locate those animals because I*ve been curious about what sites they would chose to utilize for their hibernation over the winter. And I*ve been very surprised. Before I started this I had worked with horned lizards for twenty years and if you had gone out with me and said 'Well, Wade, where do you think the horned lizards hibernate?' And I would have said 'Well, you see these shrubs over here and all the leaves and leaf litter under it? They crawl under all that stuff and then they dig under the soil with their body, which they do at other times of the year as well, and they hibernate down there.' Well, recently I found that that's not the case at all. They're always out in exposed open areas; they're never under the shrubs. They essentially drive their bodies with vibratory movements from one side to the other into the soil and they're down an inch or two."

We'd like to hear about the way that you track or celebrate the seasons of your year. Please call our toll-free number, 1-877-PULSE99. That's toll-free, 1-877-PULSE99.

Additional funding for Pulse of the Planet has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.