The banded Gila monster (Heloderma suspectm cinctum) is a large lizard, anywhere from 9 – 20 inches long, that lives in Red Rock Canyon. Gila (pronounced hee’-lah) monsters spend 95 – 99 percent of their lives underground. Their food sources include small mammals, reptiles, lizards, insects and the eggs of ground-nesting birds like quail. They all enter hibernation (or brumation, for reptiles) in November and don’t emerge again until about April. Gila monsters and their cousins, the beaded lizards, are the only venomous lizards in the world. Should you spot one along the Calico Hills or in Calico Basin, please do not touch it and give it plenty of space. Gila monsters are protected by state law due to their uniqueness and rarity.
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