Monitor lizard Facts

Monitor lizard Facts
Monitor lizard is large reptile that belongs to the genus Varanus. There are 78 species of monitor lizard that can be found in Africa, Asia and Oceania. Monitor lizards inhabit jungles, coastal forests and areas close to the rivers. In some parts of the world, monitor lizards are kept as house pets (they are not recommended for the inexperienced owners because of their aggressive nature). Even though monitor lizards are not on the list of endangered species at the moment, their future is uncertain due to uncontrolled killing, pet trade and habitat loss.
Interesting Monitor lizard Facts:
Monitor lizard can reach 4.7 to 122 inches in length and 2.2 to 360 pounds of weight, depending on the species. Komodo dragon is the largest species of monitor lizard.
Body of monitor lizard is covered with scales in tan, green, grey or brown color.
Monitor lizard has forked tongue and strong jaws filled with small, but sharp teeth. It has long neck, powerful body, sturdy legs equipped with sharp claws and very long tail.
Monitor lizard monitors its surroundings by standing on its hind legs to ensure detection of potential predators on time, hence the name "monitor lizard".
Monitor lizard has terrestrial, semi-aquatic or arboreal lifestyle, depending on the species. All monitor lizards are excellent swimmers.
Monitor lizard has excellent eyesight and sense of smell. Just like the snake, it collects scent molecules from the air using its tongue.
Monitor lizard is a carnivore. Its diet is based on the eggs, fish, reptiles, birds and small mammals. Some species occasionally consume fruit.
Most species of monitor lizard have poisonous saliva which facilitates killing of the prey and provides protection against the predators.
Natural enemies of monitor lizards are large wild cats, snakes and humans.
Monitor lizard relies on the camouflaging colors of the body and ability to run very fast when it needs to escape from the predators.
Unlike other lizards, monitor lizard cannot regenerate its tail in the case of loss.
Monitor lizard is solitary creature. It uses scent glands in the tail to mark its territory, feeding area and basking grounds. Some monitor lizards spend their entire life in the same area, while others travel large distances to find better sources of food and potential mating partners.
Monitor lizards communicate with each other via visual (body postures), olfactory (smells) and audio (sounds) signals. Hissing noise can be heard when monitor lizard is threatened.
Males and females can recognize each other thanks to the pheromones. Female lays 7 to 37 eggs in the hole in the ground, active termite mound or inside the hollow tree and uses dirt to conceal the nest. Hatchlings are left on their own from the moment of birth.
Monitor lizard can survive 8 to 30 years in the wild.

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