It’s better if you do not go by the name as it is hardly similar to a lizard; rather it has quite a resemblance with a crocodile. Yet, the monitor lizards are a great example of charisma, complexity, and sophistication among the reptile family. However, because of the varieties and unawareness regarding them, many scientists felt encouraged to study them. And eventually, unusual discoveries have led the researches to be necessary as well as important.
You may see lizards every day. But it’s not them. You can find them these giants across parts of Africa and Asia. Meanwhile, few of the invasive species are found in America as well. Among them, eighty species are recognizable as of now.
Monitor lizards have longer head and neck, whereas the bodies are relatively dense with a long tail and well-developed legs. However, the smallest Monitor Lizard found was only 20 CM in length.
The largest of them grows up to a length of three meters, which is 10 feet. They have powerful tails and claws with well-developed limbs. Most of them are carnivorous. Their menu includes mainly eggs, small reptiles, fish, insects, and small mammals. There are few vegetarian species, as well who depend on fruits and vegetation.
Smallest And Largest Monitor Lizard
Dampier Peninsula monitor, also called as Varanus sparnus is the smallest found Monitor lizard residing with us till date. It is about 16 grams in weight and reaches a maximum length of 23 CM in its adulthood. As per records, they are natives to Western Australia. However, these creatures are very active and rarely seen.
The Notorious Indonesian Komodo dragon, also known as Varanus komodoensis, is the most massive Monitor Lizard. It is approximately 3 meters in length and weighs more than 80 kgs. Eventually which makes it the giant monitor lizard alive in the world till date.
Monitor Lizards As Pets
You can find some of them as pets also. Savannah monitor and Ackies monitor are the most used varieties as pets, as they are relatively small, low-cost maintenance and easy to handle. Meanwhile, you can see some other varieties of monitor lizards as pets also.
Contribution To Medicinal Area
Monitor Lizard meat, especially tongue and liver, which is included in the Indian and Malaysian dishes. On top of that, they have a huge demand in the markets of Pakistan and Southern India because of medicinal usage. The flesh is treated as a medicine to get relief from rheumatic and joint pain. The abdominal fat found its importance as a cure for skin infections, while the oil and fat are used to treat hemorrhoids and chronic pain. Meanwhile, the oil has also found its use as an aphrodisiac lubricant.
Leather Of Monitor Lizard – A Reason For Their Exploitation
Monitor lizards have become subject to exploitation on a large scale for the skin, which can be described as a considerate utility in the leather industry. Their skin makes excellent leather, and many of them are at gunpoint for this.
Consumption Of Monitor Lizards As Food
The flesh of Monitor Lizard has a huge demand in the markets of India, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, and several parts of Africa as a supplement source. In Nepal, the flesh has found its demand for medical purposes. Kanjira, which is a prevalent instrument in music, is also being made from its skin.
Monitor Lizards are rare to found and comes in different sizes, from small to large. Though they have been placed under the threatened species, their numbers are continually decreasing. Few varieties of monitor lizards have already made their entry as endangered species in the red list of IUCN. There are organizations and governments working hard to conserve some of them, while many others are getting extinct because of human greed and natural calamities.