Bulky, short-tailed, terrestrial. Head large with powerful jaws. Casque small. Series of 12 - 14 large knobs along backbone. Eats large numbers of grasshoppers, beetles, even lizards and snakes. Breeds throughout year, laying several clutches of 20 eggs in sand burrow.
Its toes are divided into opposable sets of two and three digits that make it easier to grasp branches instead of clinging to them with claws.
Lives in hot deserts and along seashore (arid West).