For local wildlife, living in the big city can be rough. Encounters with people and their dogs, cats, and cars all present threats not experienced by critters living outside of urban areas. Plus, these city dwellers still have to contend with many of the usual threats like predators and weather extremes.
Here are two photos celebrating the scrappiness it takes to be a city dwelling reptile, and also celebrating the incredible opportunities to observe urban nature in action. “David A.” sent this photo to theeastsiderla of an adult San Diego Gopher Snake, Pituophis catenifer, schooling a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis, near Elysian Park.
Striped Racers are huge lizard predators and certainly eat a good number of alligator lizards. But it is hard to eat an alligator lizard when the lizard is clamping your jaws shut! We don’t know the outcome of this interaction. Maybe the lizard lived, or maybe the snake made a comeback and ended up with a big meal. Again, this is a “wintertime” observation, in which the snake was warm enough to be actively hunting and assured enough of warm temperatures over the next few days to think that it could digest a large lizard meal.