What are Monitor Lizards and where do they live?
Monitor Lizard: Native to Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, Monitor lizards are large-sized lizards that belong to the genus Varanus. They have long necks, well-developed limbs and powerful tails and claws.
Where do Monitor Lizards live?
Monitor Lizards are adaptive to numerous environments. They can either be found in jungles and rainforests or in aquatic areas. They can also be found in hot and dry areas.
What do Monitor Lizards Consume?
Monitor Lizards are carnivorous and consume insects, reptiles, birds, fishes, and more. Most of the species in their young age feed on invertebrates and later shift to feeding on vertebrates. Deer is the diet of almost 50% of the largest adult species. In contrast to these, three of the arboreal species are fruit eaters.
Usage of Monitor Lizards in Industries
Monitor Lizards are used in traditional medicines, however, there is no scientific evidence of their effectiveness. Their meat, considered to be aphrodisiac, is consumed in several parts of the world.
They are also used in several parts of India and Pakistan to cure rheumatic pain, skin infections, and haemorrhoids.
Monitor Lizards are exploited on a large scale for their skins which are used in the leather industry.
Meat and eggs of monitor lizards are consumed in several Asian, African and Oceanic countries.
The skin of Monitor Lizards is used in making Kanjira, a Carnatic music percussion instrument.
Are Monitor Lizards on the verge of extension?
According to IUCN Red List, most species of Monitor Lizards fall in the categories of least concern, but the population is decreasing globally.
Several species are not necessarily threatened but may become extinct if trade regulations on such species are not imposed.
In several parts of South India, catching or killing monitor lizards is banned under the Protected Species Act.
Can you pet Monitor Lizards?
Yes, you can pet certain species of Monitor Lizards. These are the savannah monitor and Ackies dwarf monitor, which are relatively small in size and have low maintenance costs. Other species that can be pets are black-throated monitors, Timor monitors, Asian water monitors, Nile monitors, mangrove monitors, emerald tree monitors, black tree monitors, roughneck monitors, Dumeril's monitors, peach-throated monitors, crocodile monitors, and Argus monitors.
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