Predator vs. Prey: Roadrunner vs. Collared Lizard

By | August 1, 2013
From Xplor: August/September 2013

The struggle to survive isn't always a fair fight. Here's what separates nature's winners from its losers.

Solar Panel Skin

Black skin on a roadrunner’s back soaks up sunshine so the bird is warm and ready to run.

Beak Bash

Roadrunners break the bones of their breakfasts by pounding prey to a pulp against rocks.

Feathered Flash

Roadrunners zip along at 18 miles per hour, faster than Olympic athletes run the mile. No other American bird runs faster.

Tight Turn Tail

Collared lizards steer with their rears, swinging their long tails out for balance when they tear around tight turns.

Leggy Lizards

A collared lizard’s back legs are three times longer than its front legs. Running upright helps the lizard take longer strides and reach speeds of 16 miles per hour.

and the winner is…

Roadrunners are so quick, they’ve been seen plucking hummingbirds out of the air. With that kind of speed, this lizard’s lunchmeat unless it finds a rocky retreat to dive into.

And More...

This Issue's Staff

David Besenger
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White