a Someone should care, maybe not you....: Lizards on the roadway..... .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

23 July 2005

Lizards on the roadway.....

One of my few military duties during my time at Camp Udari Kuwait was to drive to Iraq. Went to Baghdad a few times but most of the trips were much shorter, to Camp Bucca at Um Qaser near Basra. WE would pull out of the gate at Udari and hang a very sharp left and go back along the fence line. Unless there was an incoming convoy on that road then we would swing wide to avoid the massive dust clouds. There actually were roads more or less but in this area you could (and did) pretty much drive where you wanted to so long as it was in the right direction. At any rate, on the east side of Udari there was an honest to god dirt road that you could actually see for most of it. You would take this road north through a little escarpment until you came to a building. This was supposedly a Kuwaiti Army outpost. There was a flag flying over it and a few guys hanging out there but not much else. Here we would turn right and enter an amazing little stretch of road. Nothing spectacular about the road per se, or the terrain, but this was prime lizard habitat. There is a rather strange looking lizard there in Kuwait called the dhub, dhab, or dhor, it is also called the spiny tailed lizard.

The biggest one I saw was probably three feet long, most of them were in the one to two foot range. They were actually fairly common all over this part of Kuwait and several in fact lived in the camp. We had about a 6 inch one living under a corner of our tent for awhile and it was not uncommon to find flattened ones mummified in the sand. Tanks, rolled over them and I suspect several were flattened by large CONEXes being lowered by helicopters. (I spent awhile trying to figure out a way to ship one large such mummified lizard patty home but never came up with a good way to mail it. I am sure my mother will be grateful to learn of my failure.) So seeing lizards by the road wasn’t so surprising. What amazed us was the sheer number of them along this little stretch of road. They were everywhere. Dozens of them at a time ranging in color from black to bright banana yellow. Sitting beside the road staring at us and soaking up the sunlight. Now a website I found about these things (Arabian Wildlife) says they tend not to come out of their burrows in the mornings but we saw them bright and early every time we took this route. OF course this site also says the adults are exclusively vegetarian but I watched them sit on ant hills and eat the ants. But hey, maybe the ones I watched were abnormal. It is said that the Kuwaitis eat the big fellows and I suppose that is true. At any rate if you stop your vehicle and get out they will take off running at an amazing fast pace for something so stumpy looking. They ignored cars (hence becoming common road kill) but a person on foot caused them to scamper.
I write of this because this was the largest collection of non plants that wasn’t domesticated that I saw anywhere in Kuwait. Kuwait is a barren seemingly lifeless waste land and then you turn a corner and BAM, giant lizards all over the place. I was suitably impressed.
Indecently, the picture here is not one I took, I found it on theArmy’s Pest Management Board’s website. I failed to take my 35mm camera with me on this expedition to South West Asia, so I had no real telephoto of zoom capability. And as mentioned above, when I stopped and tried to get closer to take a pic they scooted. Although judging from the shadow this one stayed near a stopped car to get his picture taken.

80 Comments:

Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Here's the link for someone too lazy to follow the links:

Lizards
.

Pretty cool pic. When I was in the Yucatan, got some good pics of iquanas. Unfortunately, don't have access to a scanner here. for some strange reason, I like lizards. They're just cool.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Blue Girl, Red State said...

I woke up with a lizard like that in my bed in Turkey. And I shudder to even think about all the creepy-crawlies my mom evacuated from my bed in the middle of the night in the Phillipines. I would scream, and she would come running with a gallon glass jar and scoop up the offender and toss it off the lanai. Ah, Memories!

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