|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Hello Steven, Thanks for your question. I have a quick answer for you, but first I have to mention that there are over 700 different species of geckos in the world, and many of them are found in tropical areas which are hot, but not dry. However, there are several species native to deserts, so I'll focus on their traits here. In Peterson's Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians (by Robert Stebbins, 1985), I learned that the western banded gecko "can live in extremely dry parts of the desert because of its nocturnal and subterranean habits." Desert geckos stay cool by hiding under rocks, plants, logs, and by hanging out in other shady spots, including nooks and crannies in urban areas. As another way to conserve energy and to stay out of the heat of the sun in the desert (particularly in summertime), most geckos are most active at night or early in day before ground surfaces get hot. Four gecko species are native to desert areas in the western US, and one other species (Mediterranean) has been introduced. Mediterranean geckos are also nocturnal, but they are generally found in urban areas, so they are not as likely to hang out in extreme habitats. Here's an interesting tidbit: many species of geckos have immovable eyelids, so their eyes are open all the time, like snakes. I looked for gecko information on the web and mostly found pages on maintaining geckos as pets. For basic biological information, field guides are a great start. Keep asking questions! Ruth
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