Mojave Max

Kids Interactive Adventure to Explore the Desert

Mojave Max's desert home is filled with exciting plants and animals. Each one is important to maintain a balanced ecosystem. This screen shows a total of 14. Can you find them all? Click or touch the plants and animals below and check off the ones you find.

  • The bear poppies or bear-paw poppies gets its name from the distinctive appearance of the leaves. Bear poppy can only be found in the western part of the Mojave Desert.  Its habitat is typically the harshest and driest soils of the Mojave, where few other plants survive.

  • Desert tortoises are herbivores which mean that they eat plants.  Desert tortoises eat the flowers on the beavertail cactus.

  • The burrowing owl is a small long-legged owl that lives in open dry areas with low vegetation. Burrowing owls use existing burrows that are vacated by other animals.

  • Chuckwallas are large lizards found primarily in arid regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Some are found on coastal islands. Chuckwallas are a stocky wide-bodied lizard with a flattened midsection and prominent belly. Their tails are thick, tapering to a blunt tip. Loose folds of skin characterize the neck and sides of the body, which is covered in small, coarsely granular scales. The common chuckwalla measures 15-3/4 inches in length, whereas insular species such as the giant chuckwalla of San Esteban Island can measure as much as 30 inches in total length.

  • The name “coyote” is derived from the Aztec word coyotl, meaning “trickster.”  Though coyotes have been observed to travel in large groups, they primarily hunt in pairs.

  • The Desert Bighorn Sheep is the state animal of Nevada. Bighorn sheep are named for the large curved horns on the male sheep.  Females also have horns, but they are shorter and less curvy. The horns on a bighorn sheep can weigh up to 30 pounds!

  • The desert tortoise is the state reptile of Nevada and California.  Desert tortoises can live to be 60-80 years old.  Desert tortoises spend approximately 95% of their time underground.

    Tortoise Burrow

    The tortoise burrow provides a dry cool home for the tortoise and protects the tortoise from the extreme heat of the desert.  The burrow also provides a place for the tortoise to brumate (the reptilian form of hibernation) in the winter.

  • The Gila monster is native to the southwestern United States. This lizard is a heavy, slow-moving lizard that can reach lengths of up to 2 feet long.  The Gila monster is the only venomous lizard native to the United States.

  • Jackrabbits are very tall.  Adults can reach between 22” and 26” tall!

  • The Joshua tree is native to southwestern North America and is found in the states of California, Arizona, Utah. and Nevada. It is confined mostly to the Mojave Desert. This tree is actually a plant that belongs to the “Yucca” family.  The Native Americans ate the seeds of the Joshua Tree and they used the leaves to make baskets, rope, and sandals.

  • Desert kangaroo rats are found in desert areas with sandy soil.  They live in burrow systems underground and they eat seeds.

  • The Mojave green, which is one of its common names, is one of the most venomous snakes found in the deserts of the southwestern United States and central Mexico.  Like desert tortoises, this snake brumates during the winter months.  The Mojave Rattlesnake eats mostly small rodents and lizards.

  • Roadrunners are fast-running birds that live in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Some roadrunners have been clocked at 20 miles per hour!

  • Townsend’s big-eared bat is a medium-sized bat with extremely long, flexible ears that they can curl up to look like ram’s horns. The bat’s diet may include small moths, flies, beetles, and other small insects. Bats can eat up to 1,200 insects in one hour!