White-Throated Monitor

White-Throated Monitor

Reptiles

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: ASDF
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Squamata
FAMILY: Sauria
GENUS SPECIES: Varanus (monitor lizard) exanthematicus albigularis (white throated)

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: Large, exceptionally long, sleek lizard colored predominantly dark brown with white throat and light colored belly; long head and neck; elongated sturdy tail; strong, sharp claws
SIZE: 150-200 cm (60-80 in.); maximum 270 cm (9 ft)
WEIGHT: Up to 11 kg (25 lbs.)
DIET: Carrion, small reptiles and mammals, bird eggs, insects
INCUBATION: 20 days
CLUTCH SIZE 20-50 eggs
SEXUAL MATURITY: 3-5 years
LIFE SPAN: 12-20 years
RANGE: South Africa to northern Ethiopia; Zimbabwe, south to Naibia
HABITAT: Dry areas especially steppes and deserts around rock outcrops
POPULATION: GLOBAL No data
STATUS: IUCN No data
CITES Appendix II
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. Monitors have forked tongues, making them the only reptiles other than snakes to possess this characteristic. Like snakes, this tongue shape allows for better accuracy in locating a prey's scent.
2. Monitors practice 'open pursuit' hunting instead of stalking and ambushing. They are very fast despite their massive size because of their powerful leg muscles. Monitors swallow their food whole or in large pieces; they are able to dislocate their thyroid bone in order to enlarge their throat.
3. Males are extremely territorial. Upon encountering another male they will first take a threatening posture then begin fighting viciously, often leaving severe bite wounds.
4. Males are extremely territorial. Upon encountering another male they will first take a threatening posture then begin fighting viciously, often leaving severe bite wounds.
5. Though they will usually use their long, sharp claws to dig their own holes, monitors are known to use termite mounds and rodent dens to lay their eggs.
6. Monitors are known to use their tail (which may be twice as long as its body) as a rudder (used to steer when swimming), for grasping, and as a weapon.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

Monitors fill an important niche in their respective habitats. In many of their ranges, they are one of the only large land carnivores. Of the 31 species of monitors found throughout the world, 24 of them occur in areas without terrestrial, carnivorous mammals.

These reptiles are being negatively affected by destruction of their natural habitat, as well as the demand for their skin in the animal product trade. Monitors are hunted for their meat and some of their parts are known to be used in traditional medicines.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Halliday, Tim R., and Adler, Kraig. The Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Equinox Books, 1986.

Mattison, Chris. Lizards of the World. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1989.

Rogner, Manfred. Lizards. Vol. 2. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Co., 1994

Rogner, Manfred. Lizards. Vol. 2. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Co., 1994

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