Skip to main content

Savannah Monitor

Varanus exanthematicus
Savannah Monitors are one of the more popular Monitor Lizard species to be kept in captivity. This is due to their small(er) size, docile attitude, and general toleration of handling. (Disclaimer: Don't just go out and buy a 4ft long lizard! Please do your homework, and buy from a responsible source!)

Anyway, in the wild Savannah Monitors can be found in the warm climates of Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the Savannah name, there is a misconception that they are a desert dwelling species, but obviously this is not the case. They are found in grassland regions and are a primarily ground-dwelling species.

Savannah Monitors have two main activities in life-- eating and basking in the sun. They feed on invertebrates, rodents, and smaller reptiles. They themselves are prey for birds, larger reptiles, and humans (who hunt them for skins and meat). The Lizards have pretty decent camouflage, so their main defensive strategy is to stay undetected. But if threatened, they have a strong bite and a powerful lashing tail in their arsenal.

The species is listed as being of Least Concern, but they face many human-related threats. It is estimated that  around 100,000 are exported every single year, either for the pet trade or for leather. For now, studies show that that number may be sustainable, though in some localized areas the population is on a decline.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Sub-Saharan Africa
Size : Length up to 4.5ft (1.4m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Varanidae -- Genus : Varanus -- Species : V. exanthematicus

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

10 Years?!

My goodness! It's been 6 years since I went on hiatus, and now more than 10 years since AaD was born, and what a world we've moved in to! Animal a Day is coming back- but in the meantime, check us out on Facebook, for your daily dose of #BIRDNEWS