ELVIS - ASIAN WATER MONITOR
The Asian water monitor (Varanus salvator) is one of the largest lizards in the world and belongs to the Varanidae family. This family group is made up of about 50 different lizard species, including the iconic Komodo dragon. Water monitors are reptiles that date back millions of years ago.
They have an extremely muscular build with strong, powerful tails. Water monitors are often recognized because of their dark brown or blackish coloration and have yellow spots on their undersides, though sometimes these spots disappear gradually with age. Asian water monitors have very long necks and an elongated snout. They use their powerful jaws, serrated teeth, and sharp claws not only to eat but also to defend themselves against predators.
They are semi-aquatic animals so they spend much of their day around the water. Asian water monitors can live in both fresh and saltwater but they are also very speedy and agile and have been known to climb trees easily.
Did You Know? Asian water monitors are able to remain fully submerged in water for up to 30 minutes!
Asian water monitors are carnivores and love their meat snacks! They generally feed on a variety of food items such as insects, birds, frogs, rodents, small birds, and even snakes. In certain areas of Thailand and Malaysia, they have been seen eating crabs and fish.
Adult Asian water monitors usually grow between 4 feet to 6 feet and can weigh anywhere from 40 to 90 pounds. One of the largest Asian water monitors ever recorded grew to 10.5 feet in length and weighed about 165 pounds!
Their name says it all! This water monitor is native to large areas of South-East Asia, including China, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. They’ve also been found in regions of India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. They make their home across a wide range of habitats including mangroves, swamps, wetlands, forests, and shrubland.
Asian water monitors can live up to 25 years in captivity if cared for properly, however, they usually only live on average about 11 years in the wild.
Are Asian Water Monitors Venomous?
Asian water monitor lizards do secrete venom, however, it is not lethally dangerous or fatal to humans. They are usually quite docile in nature and are not known to attack humans at all. If they do, it would only be to defend themselves from threat or harm. This may elicit them to bite, which may cause an injury. Infection from bacteria would be the biggest concern, so medical attention should be sought immediately. However, again, attacks on humans are extremely rare. Most of the time, water monitors use their tails in a whip-like fashion to send a warning and keep threats at bay.
Owning an Asian water monitor is not illegal in most states in the US. These water monitors are available to buy or adopt via the pet trade, but it’s recommended that these lizards go to pet owners who are advanced in taking care of exotic and large reptile animals. Asian water monitors require a lot of maintenance and care, along with a large living space for them to thrive and grow. These water monitor lizards are a big commitment and are not a good option for a casual pet owner who is looking to have an animal that is more self-sufficient.
Check out the YouTube video on Asian Water Monitors!
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