Lizards are members of the squamate reptile family, which includes over 6000 species. Except for Antarctica, they can be found on all continents. Lizards range in size from little chameleons to massive Komodo dragons. They are generally quadrupedal, which means they move on four limbs side to side. Some lizards have no limbs and appear more snake-like.
Lizards are territorial; males struggle for territory control while females accept their presence. Huge lizards like the Komodo prey on large animals like water buffaloes, whilst smaller lizards like the chameleon eat insects. The following are the world’s largest lizards.
1. Komodo Dragon
The Komodo dragon is the world’s largest living reptile, reaching heights of 10 feet and weighing up to 366 pounds (166 kg). It is indigenous to the Indonesian Lesser Sunda Islands of Komodo, Flores, Padar, Rinca, and Gili Motang, among others. The Komodo dragon is distinguished by a tall flat head with a rounded snout, a massive muscular tail, bowed legs, and scaly skin.
They are not afraid to chase bigger prey such as deer, carrion, pigs, and water buffalo. Human attacks have also been reported. The Komodo dragon’s saliva is very deadly, and a single bite is enough to kill a buffalo in less than 12 hours.
2. Asian Water Monitor Lizard
The Asian water monitor lizard is only found in Southeast Asia and South Asia. They are the continent’s most common monitor lizards. Their habitats include northeast India, Sri Lanka, the Malay Peninsula, and the Indonesian islands. The water monitor is a big lizard that can grow to be 3.21 m (10.53 ft) long and 70 kg (154 pounds) in weight. They have powerful stories and muscular bodies.
3. Crocodile Monitor
The crocodile monitor is the largest lizard on the island of New Guinea. The lizard has a very long tail that can reach a length of 3.23 m (10.6 ft) and can weigh 40 kg (80.4 lb) max! Some lizard specimens have surpassed the length of the Komodo dragon, which is officially the longest lizard.
It lives in the southern section of the island’s coastal rainforest and mangrove swamp, where it feeds on carrion, birds, eggs, and small mammals. Poaching and deforestation pose a threat to the crocodile monitor.
4. Perentie Goanna
The Perentie Goanna is Australia’s largest lizard. It is indigenous to South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory’s deserts. Their natural environment is made up of gorges and rocky outcroppings. The lizard enjoys secluded locations with little human interaction. The Perentie Goanna can grow to be 2.5 m (8.2 ft) tall and weigh up to 2.5 kg (8.2 lb).
Insects, fish, smaller lizards, rabbits, and rodents are also prey for them. Wombats, dingoes, and kangaroos are prey for the larger ones. When threatened, the lizard will either flee or freeze flat on the ground, as do goannas.
5. Black-Throated Monitor
The Black-Throated monitor is the largest of the four subspecies of the rock monitor. It is Africa’s largest lizard, and it may be found in South, East, and Central Africa. A typical rock monitor measures up to 2.1 m (6.89 ft) tall and weighs to 27 kg (60 lb) max. Their snouts are bulbous and convex, and their tongues are pink or bluish in color. Rock monitors prefer to live in trees away from bodies of water.
When frightened, they are known to stand their ground, but if the threat gets too close, they are liable to bite, scratch, or lash their powerful tails. According to research, the monitor lizard is more intelligent than other types of lizards.
6. Nile Monitor
The Nile Monitor lizard is endemic to Africa and is found in and near rivers. It is also the Nile’s second largest reptile. In Florida, Nile monitors are an invasive species and a popular exotic pet. Africa’s longest lizard is the Nile monitor. They range in length from 120 to 220 cm (3 ft 11 in to 7 ft 3 in). In terms of body mass, adults have been recorded to weigh 5.9 to 15 kg (13 to 33 lb) in large monitors.
Variations may be due to age or environmental condition. They have strong legs and jaws, as well as robust bodies. In adolescent animals, their teeth are sharp and pointed, but in adults, they become blunt and peg-like. They also have keen claws that they employ for climbing, digging, defense, and tearing at their prey.
7. Gila Monster
The Gila monster is a lizard that lives in the Chihuahuan, Mojave, and Sonoran Deserts of northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States. The lizard is black with bright yellow, orange, and pink markings. The Gila monster’s bite is exceedingly painful and deadly, and it can kill a human. They are clumsy creatures that raid nests for eggs and infant mammals.
The lizard spends the majority of its existence underground, emerging only to feed and sunbathe in the sun. They store large amounts of fat in their huge tails, allowing the animal to go for weeks without eating.
8. Lace Monitor
The lace monitor, sometimes known as the tree goanna, is a monitor lizard native to eastern Australia. It is a huge lizard with a total length of 2 meters (6.6 feet) and a weight of 14 kilograms (31 pounds). Lace monitors come in two varieties. The main form is dark grey to dull bluish-black in color, with many cream-colored dots sprinkled throughout.
The head is black, and the snout has distinct black and yellow stripes that extend beneath the chin and neck. The tail bears tiny black and cream bands that become larger at the end of the tail. The banding on juveniles is more pronounced and conspicuous, with five narrow black bands on the neck and eight bands on the body.
9. Tegu Monitor
The black and white tegu is another name for the huge tegu. It is the largest of the tegu lizards, with adult males reaching heights of 4.0 to 4.5 feet. These lizards live in Central and South America’s semi-deserts, savannas, and tropical rainforests. The enormous tegu is capable of sprinting for short distances and charging at prey and other lizards.
During the reproductive season, the tegu is one of the few lizards who can adjust their body temperature. They are omnivorous, eating insects, snails, spiders, and other invertebrates.
10. Green Iguana
Iguanas are herbivorous lizards found in Central and South America. Green Iguanas are the largest iguanas, reaching 4.9 feet in length, and are considered an invasive species in South Florida.
Because of its peaceful behavior and beautiful colors, it is commonly kept as a pet, but it can be difficult to care for properly. The needs for space, as well as the necessity for particular lighting and heat, might be difficult for the hobbyist.
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