Lizards are one of the most bizarre looking animals that most people fear off! Even the common house lizards are feared because of its seemingly expressionless face combined with their claws. But in reality, Most lizards are harmless to human beings. In this article you will not be learning about the most but those few dangerous monitor lizards that can kill, make ill or their bite can give at least mild levels of pain on human victims.
Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum)
- The Gila monster named after the Gila River Basin. It is found in parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico in USA and also in the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora.
- The lizard can grow to about 60 cm. The lifespan of Gila monster is 20-30 years.
- Although the lizard is venomous, the reptile poses little threat to human beings due to its slow movement.
Mexican beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum )
- The Mexican beaded lizard (H. horridum),a closely related lizard to Gila Monster is slightly larger about 80 cm and darker in appearance than the Gila monster.
- The species is found in major part of the Pacific coast of Mexico from the border between the states of Sinaloa and Sonora south to Mexico’s border with Guatemala.
- Not only in appearance, the Mexican beaded lizard is similar to the Gila monster in habit too. It depends on stored fats for survival in the winter. It bites its enemies by locking the jaws on its prey while its grooved teeth funnel nerve poison into the wound of its victim. Its bite is painful; however, there’s no confirmed human fatalities associated with the species have been reported.
- The species is a part of the illegal international trade in pets, and some of these lizards are sold to pet distributors in the Europe, United States and Japan.
The Iguanas (subfamily Iguaninae)
- There are multiple species in the Iguanas Genus. The best-known species is the common, or green, iguana, which is found between Mexico southward and Brazil.
- Males of this species reach a maximum length of over 2 meters (6.6 feet) and 6 kg (13.2 pounds). It is often seen relaxing in the sun on the branches of trees overhanging water.
- The Common iguana is green in color with dark bands forming rings on the tail. The females are grayish green and about half the weight of males.
- Iguanas possess dozens of sharp serrated teeth. They have atrophied venom glands that produce a weak harmless venom. Iguanas are common pets to reptile collectors.
- Although the bites are relatively uncommon, they can produce serious injuries to faces, wrists, fingers, and ankles.
- Some of the warning signs of an impending strike by an iguana include standing on all four legs, drawing in a deep breath to make the body appear larger, the lowering of the animal’s dewlap (skin flap under the chin). Iguanas, however, have been known to strike without warning.
Tree crocodile, or Crocodile monitor (Varanus salvadorii)
- Tree Crocodile are native to the island of New Guinea. Most of them are found on the island’s lowland environment near the coast. But some of them can also be found living in mountainous environment up to 650 meters elevation in the island.
- They are primarily colored black, with specks of white, green, or yellow.
- Crocodile monitors weigh up to 90 kg. Although in comparison, the Komodo dragon is larger by weight , a fully grown crocodile monitor is longer, as they reach up to 5 meters( about 16 ft.) in length from snout to tail.
- Tree crocodiles are hunted for their meat and their skin, which is made into drumheads and clothing.
- These monitor lizards are known to be very aggressive, and thus hunting them is considered to be risky, so they are often captured in traps meant for other animals.
Common, or Malayan, water monitor (Varanus salvator)
- The Malayan, or common water monitor is native to the Greater Sunda Islands and coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea from Sri Lanka through southern China.
- The Malayan water monitor has an elongated head and neck, a relatively heavy body, a long tail, and well-developed legs. Their snakelike tongues are long and forked.
- An adult water monitor can grow up to 9 feet (2.7 metres).
- Common water monitors are carnivores. They feed on large insects and spiders, other lizards,fish, small mammals, birds, and mollusks .
- These lizards do not surprise their prey; they actively hunt their prey by climbing, running, or swimming after them.
- This species is hunted for food and its skin, which is used in traditional medicines and leather products.
- Humans bitten by common water monitors may be injected with venom, which produces a mild, but not a fatal effect, as well as can be exposed to infectious bacteria. This monitor can also use its whip-like tail and sharp claws as weapons. Although some reports of people dying from attacks by large individuals exist, they are probably untrue.
- You can read more about the lizards found in the same region. https://www.wemakesense.in/knowledge/indian-monitor-lizards/
Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis)
- The Komodo dragon is the largest lizard species living on the earth. The monitor lizard belongs to the family Varanidae.
- The dragon is found on Komodo Island and also a few of the neighbouring islands of the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia.
- This endangered species of lizard has become an eco-tourist attraction due to its predatory habits and large size.
- The lizard grows up to 3 meters or 10 feet in total length. An adult Komodo can weigh about 135 kg.
- It digs a burrow as deep as 9 meters and lays eggs that hatch in April or May.
- The newly hatched young are about 45 cm (18 inches) long. These young Lizards live in trees for several months.
- These terrifying monitor lizards can run fast enough to attack and kill a human being.
- A number of attacks on humans by Komodo dragons are reported in both wild and captive environment.
- The lizards mainly feed on Carrion, but they can also commonly be seen hunting invertiberates, mammals, and birds.
- They seldom need to capture live prey directly, since their venomous bite delivers toxins that inhibit blood clotting. It is thought that their victims go into shock from rapid blood loss. Some herpetologists note that the physical trauma of the bite and the introduction of bacteria from the Komodo dragon’s mouth to the wound also play roles in slowing and killing prey.
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