Goanna Facts

Goanna Facts
Goanna, also known as a monitor lizard, is a close relative of Komodo dragon and one of the largest lizards in the world. There are 25 species of goanna that can be found in Northern and Eastern parts of Australia. Goanna prefers open woodlands and grasslands, but it can be also found near the water, in the swampy areas and in the deserts. Goannas are threatened with habitat loss, disturbance of their habitats (removal of the termite mounds, for example), road accidents and predation by domesticated species (cats and dogs). At the moment, number of goannas in the wild is stable and they are not listed as endangered animals.
Interesting Goanna Facts:
Size of goanna depends on the species. On average, goanna can reach 4.6 feet in length and 13 pounds in weight.
Body of goanna is covered with scales that can be green, black or brown, depending on the habitat. Desert species are usually brightly colored (yellow to red).
Body coloration provides camouflage. Besides the basic color of the body, goanna can be covered with stripes, dots, circles and blotches.
Just like in snakes, long, forked tongue in goanna is used for detection of potential prey. Tongue flickering collects scent molecules from the air and helps in identification of the next victim.
Goanna is a carnivore. It eats insects, other lizards, small mammals and birds, eggs. Species of goanna that live near the water hunt and eat fish. All species of goanna eat remains of dead animals.
Goanna swallows the whole prey. Because of that, size of the meal depends on the size of goanna (larger species eat larger prey and vice versa).
Unlike other lizard species, goanna cannot regrow the missing tail.
Goanna is diurnal (active during the day) animal. Depending on the species, it may be typical terrestrial (that lives on the ground), arboreal (that lives on the trees) or aquatic (that lives in the water).
When faced with danger, goanna will run and climb the nearest tree until it is safe again.
Although goanna walks on all four legs, it sprints using just hind legs.
When threatened or cornered, goanna inflates the flaps of the skin on its throat and produces hissing sounds to chase away the predator.
Goanna's bite produces strong body reaction, characterized by tissue swelling, blood clothing and intense pain. Recently, scientists discovered that goanna's saliva contains venom responsible for negative effects of the bite.
Goannas are solitary creatures except during the mating season which takes place during the spring and summer.
Female deposits 3 to 11 eggs in the underground nest or in the termite mound, where temperature and humidity are optimal for the egg development. Incubation time lasts from 169 to 265 days. Young goannas fend for themselves from the moment of birth.
Goanna can survive up to 40 years in the wild.

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