Monday, September 17, 2012

Gold Tegu

Tupinambis teguixin
Tegus are large, omnivorous lizards that inhabit South America. They essentially fill the same niche that the Monitor lizards fill in Asia and Africa. Though the two lizard types look similar and do the same jobs, they are not closely related (go convergent evolution!)

The Gold Tegu is one of the seven species of Tegu. They live in the northern parts of South America, inhabiting tropical forests. They have powerful legs, a very thick tail, and can reach lengths of up to 3ft. They are also sometimes referred to as "Black Tegus," due to their gold and black stripes.

Gold Tegus feed on a wide variety of things, from insects, to small reptiles and mammals, to fruits. They can live up to 20 years, and are sometimes kept as pets, though there are other Tegu species that are more suitable. They tend of be more aggressive than their close cousins, but can become relatively tame with proper handling.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : South America
Size : Length up to 3ft (90cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Teiidae -- Genus : Tupinambis -- Species : T. teguixin

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