Sandakan (The Little HongKong)

July 31, 2011

Monitor Lizard

Filed under: Information — Cedric @ 10:55 am

Water monitors are large

In Sabah, there are 3 species of monitor lizards, the largest and most numerous being the Water Monitor Lizard (Varanus Salvator). It grows up to 3m long and 25 kg in weight. It is the second largest monitor lizard after the Komodo Dragon (Varanus Komodoensis), found in the island of Komodo in Indonesia.

Adult water monitors are light to dark brown to almost black in color. Juveniles often have a distinctive pattern of light yellow spots.

Monitor lizard facts

~ The other 2 species of monitor lizards in Sabah are Dumeril’s Monitor (Varanus Dumerilii) and the rough-neck monitor (Varanus Rudicollis),

~ Adult monitors dig burrows to use as sleeping dens,

~ Monitors lizards are famous for raiding poultry farms for live chickens and eggs. They are also Monitors also excavate turtle and crocodile nests for eggs.

~ Female monitors lay about 20 eggs at a time in burrows near riverbanks.

There are 61 species

Yes, there are about 61 species of monitor lizards around the world. All belong to the family Varanidae with one genus Varanus.

Water monitors are perhaps the most common species of monitor lizards in Asia. They can found from Sri Lanka, India, Indochina, Southeast Asia to the various islands of Indonesia.

They don’t chew their food!

Water monitors are carnivorous and hunt for live prey such as crabs, insects, birds, fishes, amphibians and rodents. Although they all have sharp teeth, water monitors don’t chew their food: they swallow their prey whole!

They can run fast & climb trees too!

Water monitor lizards are highly mobile. They swim well and have even been seen swimming far out at sea. They can remain underwater for up to half an hour!

They run fast for their size as they have powerful leg muscles. In fact, they are faster than most of us can run!

They also climb well, to search for food as well as to escape predators, using their strong curved claws. The young usually stay in trees for safety. If comered up a tree, they will jump into the safety of a stream or river.


1 Comment »

  1. do u think crocs could climb trees too? why not?

    Comment by Croc Hunter — August 9, 2011 @ 3:33 am | Reply

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