Monitor Lizards are known for their intelligence. Coming from the family Varanidae in the animal kingdom,some species of this lizard can even count. They even can lure a nesting crocodile to catch them while another adult supervises the young ones to feed on the crocodile’s eggs.
|Komodo Dragon, the largest among the Monitor Lizards.|
Monitor Lizards have hundreds of subspecies that varies in sizes and other characteristics. The Komodo Dragon, is the largest among the Monitor Lizards and can measure as much as 10 feet in length. The smallest kind of a monitor lizard can only reach up to only 8 inches in length. The recorded largest monitor lizard is the extinct Megalania which reaches up to 26 feet in length and weighs up to a ton. The megalania was believed to have walk the earth some 40,000 years ago and only fossils and bones served as evidence of its presence.
A Monitor lizard is very active during day. When being alert, they usually erect their heads. In a presence of a predator, they defend themselves by lashing their tails; inflating their neck; hissing loudly ; spreading their rib cage and expanding the top of their body to look bigger to intimidate them.They also move sideways opening their mouths wide with their tails on an attack stance when they sense danger.Like snakes, monitor lizards eat their meal whole which includes snails, insects, birds, snakes, fish, other smaller lizards and even small crocodiles on their diet.
A Monitor Lizard male compete and combat with another male during breeding seasons to win a female. Females can lay up to 35 eggs on holes in large trees in forests or on holes of rocks on riverbanks. A female of this reptile will incubate their eggs from 8 to 10 weeks.
Two huge monitor lizards can be found caged in the backyard portion of Cebu Zoo. They are fed with chicken meat.
|An ornate monitor lizard in its cage in Cebu Zoo.|