Monitor Lizards Wrestling and Fighting

May 19 2015

'A fascinating throwback video', says Johan van Zyl, expert guide & wildlife photographer and something I have not personally seen in the wild”. Although many species of monitor lizards are quite large, some species of monitor lizards are smaller than 20 cm in length. They are extremely versatile and adapt well into different environments. We find out more about these interesting creatures…

TB: When fighting what is their best form of defence and are they poisonous?
Their best form of defense is probably a combination of both the bite and their claws.  They are not venomous but if a human got bitten it would probably be best to go seek medical attention as the bite could get infected relatively quick.

TB: How big do monitor lizards generally get?
The Nile or water monitor can get up to about 2 metres in length while the rrck monitor can get up to about 1,5 metres.

TB:  Can you please tell us more about the life-cycle of a monitor lizard, both male and female?
Your female monitors normally lay about 20-60 eggs and interestingly enough, quite often they will lay their eggs in termite mounds.  The termites then patch up the broken part of the mound, making the temperature inside the termite mound perfect for the eggs to hatch.  At about 150 days, the young monitor will often feed off the termites inside the mound until they are at the stage where they have developed claws and can dig their way out.

The most interesting thing we were able to find out about monitors are that they have a long, specialized tongue with a bifurcated tip that is highly sensitive to smell and taste. In addition monitor lizards are also able to grow replacement teeth in the gaps between their mature teeth.


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