Friday, August 27, 2010

Giant lizards

Here's something you don't often see, two large Malayan Water Monitors hanging out together. The one on the wall was so big that even the large turtle that was sunning itself got out of its way.
If you wonder why? Aren't turtles protected by their hard shell? The answer is no. Even though monitors are mostly scavengers, they still do eat live prey. I have seen a mid-sized monitor grab a hold of a Red-eared Slider over at Singapore Botanic Gardens and swallow it whole. Unfortunately, there were no photographs as there was just too much obstruction.
It is quite heartening to see such large individual around. In Asia, monitors are hunted as bush meat. In fact, some people here still do eat them but I am told they aren't very tasty. 
Like their cousins the Komodo Dragons, these lizards are very strong and can inflict bites that will take very long to heal. Their mouths harbor deadly bacteria therefore their saliva is poisonous.

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