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5 Cool Facts about Monitor Lizards aka Crocodile Monitors

Learn five cool facts about monitor lizards aka crocodile monitors from reptile and amphibian expert Jungle Bob in this Howcast video.


Fascination with reptiles often comes from a fascination with dinosaurs. And there are a few reptiles that really conjure up your imagination when you see them for the first time.

One of them is the crocodile monitor of Southeast Asia. This is almost a living dinosaur in its appearance. In fact, he's a celebrity lizard of sorts. The movie Jurassic Park, which made dinosaurs famous in the United States, actually used the crocodile monitor's face for some of the scenes because he's got that formidable looking eye that kind of looks right through you. They used him as the Velociraptor in that movie.

The actual history of crocodile monitors is much more interesting. Not much is known about where these creatures come from. They lived way up in the canopy in Southeast Asia, Borneo and places like that. And not much is known about their habits. No one has ever seen eggs hatch, no one has ever seen them mate. People don't know exactly what they do or how big they can get.

Natives who live in the area said they get in excess of six meters which would be an 18 foot lizard. My little friend here is about seven or eight feet long at the moment and that's predominantly tail.

You want to be careful with an animal like this. As far as what I'm doing, I don't recommend the average person do so. This animal has a formidable set of teeth. Triangular serrated teeth that are designed to rip flesh from its victims. Its claws are little razor blades that are digging into my right wrist as we talk. They are slicers. They will disembowel an animal much like the Velociraptor in Jurassic Park. That's how they kill their prey.

They live entirely in the canopy of the forest and use their incredibly long tail, almost like a fulcrum. To some degree, they can wrap and grab with it. It's not totally prehensile, but it's pretty close. It's also a formidable weapon if an animal would come across one they don't like, they'd whip the tail in its direction and that can cause an animal to lose its eye.

The crocodile monitor is not something to be reckoned with. I'd certainly not recommend it to anybody as a pet. If it did get 18 feet long, it would be a monster on four feet.

The croc monitor from Southeast Asia.

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