07 June 2008

Leguuan - Monitor Lizard

To me it is easier to call this guy a leguuan, than try and decide whether it is a rock monitor, a water monitor or a savannah monitor. Whatever way you look at it, it is a very big lizard.


As a kid I caught many a leguuan, just for the fun of it. I just had to be careful they did not whack me with that tail or latch onto me with their strong jaws.


We spotted this one sunning itself on a quiet road and stopped, so that I could take some pics. It was not being very cooperative though running into this bush.


By the way I think this one is a rock monitor.

20 comments:

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

They really blend in their surroundings nicely. I'm surprised you spotted it! =)
Great series of photos.

Katney said...

I don't care which monitor it is, it's one big scary lizard!

Kerri said...

Great captures Max!

Andrea said...

Interesting capture. We have a lot of lizards are here with blue tails.

Swubird said...

Max-e:

I have never heard of a Leguuan, but they remind me of the small lizards I used to catch as a kid. We lived in the middle of the great Mojave Desert in southern California, and lizards were everywhere. Are leguuans safe to handle?

By the way, I'm finally getting around to adding you to my blogroll on Swubird's Nest. I'm sorry it's taken me so long.

Happy trails.

Max-e said...

Michele, the only reason that I found it was because we saw in basking in the sun on the road. As we drove up it disappeared into the bush, so I was able to follow it. Just goes to show you never know what is lurking in the under growth

Max-e said...

Katney they do get rather large, not like a kommodo dragon, but big. They generally run away from humans

Max-e said...

Kerri, thanks for that

Max-e said...

Andrea, the variety here is also amazing raning from a few centimetres to a couple of metres long. This guy is not the biggest I have seen. Many of our lizards have blue heads and tails

Max-e said...

Swubird, I have seen some of these guys almost 2 metres long.
Are they safe to handle - depends on how you handle them. I managed to remain unscathed as a kid.
Maybe this dicription will answer it for you:
"In defence they will turn their bodies so the side faces the threat, curling the tail back and head fixed on the threat. As soon as the threat moves within the range of the tail they will lash out with an extremely powerful and painful blow on the recipient. If they are captured they will readily bite, use the tail and scratch, often causing deep painful wounds. If they do bite, they hang on and it is extremely difficult to get them off".
The secret is to get them behind the head and at the base of the tail and then hold them away from you. They also play possum and will run off at the first opportunity.

Texas Travelers said...

Great photos.
Thanks for the description above.

We don't have lizards that big here in Texas.

Sorry it has taken so long to add you to my "Check it Out - Favorites" Blog roll. I'll do it now. You have an interesting site. I like it a lot.

Troy

Old Wom Tigley said...

You did well to spot this... and those thorns look nasty..

Merisi said...

Our youngest daughter kept a leguan as a pet. His name was Luigi, and I got quite close to him. He recognized my voice, and looked me intently in the eyes when I talked to him. He liked to sit on a high perch my husband had erected for him, basking in the sun all day. Every now and then he ventured into the kitchen to check if Max The Dog had left some food for him. We loved him, and I miss him. Thankfully we found a good home for him, before we moved from the States to Vienna.

Max-e said...

Troy, thanks for the comment. Will put you on my blog roll to.

Max-e said...

Tom, they are rather visvious acacia thorns. These bushes make a nice haven for many animals

Max-e said...

Merisi that is amazing. I have never heard of leguuans being kept as pets. I guess living on a farm in the wilds made us think of these as over grown lizards, that could be a nuisance if they got into the chickens.

photowannabe said...

Frankly, I'm a whimp...this guy looks prety scary to me and those bushes are pretty dangerous looking themselves.

Max-e said...

Photowannabe, leguaans are shy about people and will usually run away. The only time you need to worry is if try and catch a big one.
I'd rather give the thorns a miss?

LiD said...

He is a gorgeous lizard Max-e. I think my little skink would be impressed or more likely run away before he became dinner. Monitor Lizards must have a very tough hide to slink around in those thorny bushes. But what a great spot to discourage predators.

Max-e said...

LID this guy would probably swallow you little skink with one gulp, if he had half an opportunity. And yes that skin is extremely tough - they are very hady animals.
I love coming across them in the wild.