Animals of the Mexican Desert

Animals of the Mexican Desert
The Sonoran Desert extends from Arizona and California into parts of Mexico. This Mexican desert is unique in that it receives more annual rainfall than any other desert, which allows the Sonoran Desert to be home to a variety of different types of animals. You may come up against some of them when camping and hiking in this Mexican desert, so it is a good idea to know what to expect before you plan on visiting.


A bobcat is a wild cat, but resembles a house cat more than any type of jungle cat. The only real difference is that a bobcat is significantly bigger than your average house cat. These cats can weight up to 20 pounds and reach 4 feet in length. Bobcats of the Mexican desert tend toward a color that combines orange with black, brown and white.


The coyotes that call the Mexican desert home are mostly tan with some gray, brown and black mixed in. Although their howls make them sound very forebidding, these animals are actually surprisingly small. The average coyote in the Sonoran Desert usually stands no more than 2 feet high and top out at about 30 pounds.

Banded Gila Monster

These lizards can grow as long as 2 feet and are not to played with. The banded gila monster is fortunately very shy around people. The lizard is recognizable by the black bands with spots that circle their tails. There can be four or five of these bands on these pink, red and orange-colored lizards. The painful bite will send poison into your system, which won't kill you, but will cause profound discomfort.

Desert Bighorn Sheep

The bighorn sheep that call the Mexican desert home are not quite as muscular as their Rocky Mountain relatives. In addition, their horns tend be flatter and stick out farther away from their heads. They seek out the rocky foothills for water where it seems as if no water exists, but they always seem to be able to find it.

Cactus Pygmy Owl

This very small and very cool owl actually lives inside cacti. Although tiny, these owls are some of the most impressive hunters in the desert. They swoop from their perch during the night in search of everything from earthworms to other birds twice their size.

Mexican Wolf

A subspecies of the gray wolf, the Mexican wolf is actually the smallest member of that family of wolves. This wolf is one of the most endangered of wolves and was actually driven out of the U.S. until a program was created to re-introduce them. Mexican wolves are pack animals, and they abide by a very sophisticated social order.

Article Written By Timothy Sexton

Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.

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