Definition of chuckwalla in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈCHəkˌwälə/


A large dark-bodied lizard, the male of which has a light yellow tail, native to the deserts of the southwestern US and Mexico. When threatened, it inflates itself with air to wedge itself into a crevice.
  • Sauromalus obesus, family Iguanidae.
Example sentences
  • This variation makes Sonoran Desert chuckwallas ideal for investigating the relationship between population density and mating system structure.
  • How do climate and vegetation interact to determine the distribution limits of the chuckwalla in the southwestern deserts of the United States and Mexico?
  • In general there is little consistency at this low resolution between the distribution of various soil types and the presence of chuckwallas, suggesting that soil type may not be as important as the thermal environment.


Late 19th century: from Mexican Spanish chacahuala, from American Indian.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: chuck·wal·la

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