We’re Monitoring a Monitor
We’re spent our day looking for a large lizard that calls the Serengeti home. The monitor family includes the famous Komodo dragon! The lizard we were searching for does not get to be as big as a komodo, but they are just as cool!
Nile Monitor Fun Facts:
- Nile monitor lizards are known by many names including the African small grain lizard.
- Nile monitor lizards have long sharp claws for climbing, digging and ripping apart prey.
- They have a range of colors from olive to to brown.
- Nile monitors are the largest lizard in Africa.
- They have a stout strong tail to help ward off predators.
- Those forked tongues give the Nile monitor a keen sense of smell.
- They are known to hunt cooperatively. One monitor will lead a crocodile away from the nest, while another eats the eggs.
- Nile monitors are excellent swimmers and will take to water to escape a predator.
We watched a monitor for quiet a while. These amazing lizards are intimidating to see in the wild. They are often kept as pets. As with all exotic pets, it is important to do your homework before getting a pet that will grow large and possibly unruly. There are now populations of Nile monitors in California and Florida. These lizards can be harmful to the local wildlife.
I wonder why it’s called the monitor family. Do they monitor something in their ecosystem?
I wish people would realize that animals are not meant to live everywhere. I worry about the impact the “wrong” animal can have in a place it is not meant to be.