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Natural UAE

Monitor lizard (Varanus griseus)

One of the most aggressive reptiles in the UAE is the monitor lizard (Varanus griseus ). Growing to about 120 cms, its body only makes up for about one third of its total length, whilst the rest consists of tail. As with the spiny-tailed lizard it uses its tail for self-defence and lashes out with it in a whip-like fashion. It does not have any teeth, but sharp bone-plates and will bite any attacker readily. It will eat anything it can catch and overpower, from rodents to reptiles, insects, birds and it has a liking for carrion, which, with its deeply forked tongue it can detect from considerable distances. Sandy in colour with darker speckling, it blends in superbly in the desert environment. It lives in burrows which it excavates itself and where it spends the hottest hours of the day, being mainly active at dawn and dusk.

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