Skip to main content

Mangrove Monitor

Varanus indicus
Mangrove Monitors, if you couldn't guess, as lizards that live near mangrove swamps, lakes, and rivers. They have an absolutely massive distribution, and are found in Australia, New Guinea, and on dozens of Pacific Islands.

They didn't always live in so many places, in fact, in most cases the spread only happened a few decades ago. Sailors transported the lizards before and during World War II.

Because of their large range and fragmentation, there is a great deal of variation in these lizards. Individuals on some islands are larger than others, and they also differ in coloration. Overall though, they stay below 5ft in total length, with their long tails making up at least half of that.

Those very tails help the Mangrove Monitors to swim, and they are excellent climbers as well. Being able to hunt in water, on land, and in trees means that they have a very diverse diet. They eat fish, birds, rodents, crustaceans, and other reptiles. They can actually eat large prey due to their ability to drop their lower jaw, similar to snakes (but not quite the same).

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Australia, New Guinea, Pacific Islands
Size : Length up to 1.5m
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Sauropsida -- Order : Squamata
Family : Varanidae -- Genus : Varanus -- Species : V. indicus
Image : Cliff


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


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!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe