Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Water Monitor Lizard

Visaya: Halo
The water monitor (Varanus salvator) is a large lizard native to Southern Asia. Water monitors are one of the most common monitor lizards found throughout Asia, and range from Sri Lanka, India, Indochina, the Malay Peninsula and various islands of Indonesia, living in areas close to water.


The Water monitor is a large species of monitor lizard. Breeding maturity is attained for males when they are a relatively modest 40 cm (16 in) and weigh 1 kg (2.2 lb) and for females at 50 cm (20 in). However, they grow much larger throughout life, with males being larger than females. Most adult specimens will not exceed 1.5–2 m (4.9–6.6 ft) in length.However, the species can attain a maximum size of 3 m (9.8 ft).A common mature weight of Varanus salvator can be 19.5 kg (43 lb).The maximum weight of the species is over 50 kg (110 lb). In exceptional cases, the species has been reported to attain 75 to 90 kg (170 to 200 lb), though few such giants are verified and may be unreliable. They are the world's second heaviest lizard, after the Komodo dragon. Their body is muscular with a long, powerful, laterally compressed tail.

Behavior and diet

Water monitors can be defensive, using their tail, claws, and jaws when fighting. They are excellent swimmers, using the raised fin located on their tails to steer through water. Water monitors are carnivores, and have a wide range of foods. They are known to eat fish, frogs, rodents, birds, crabs, and snakes.They have also been known to eat turtles, as well as young crocodiles and crocodile eggs. Like the Komodo Dragon, they will often eat carrion. Water monitors have been observed eating catfish in a fashion similar to a mammalian carnivore, tearing off chunks of meat with its sharp teeth while holding it with its forelegs and then separating different parts of the fish for sequential consumption.

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