Varanus – Monitor lizards

Large lizards including the infamous Komodo dragon

Most monitor lizards have an extended head, a moderately heavy body, and extremely muscular tails despite the fact that distinct species vary. Their tongues are snake-like and forked. They can be found on islands in the southwest Pacific, across southern and southeastern Asia, Australia, and Africa south of the Sahara.

Tropical reptiles make up all monitors. They are aggressive, energetic lizards that can strike out with their tails at the slightest provocation. As with other lizards, monitors do not shed their tails because once lost, a monitor’s tail does not grow back, and even a small monitor may deliver a stinging lash with its tail.