Cold-blooded monitor lizards, like all reptiles, enjoy quiet moments of sunbathing. But it’s also in these tranquil daylight hours that monitor lizards exercise their firece hunting skills by running after prey, slashing at them with razor-sharp teeth and long claws.
Monitor lizards generally feed on frogs, birds, snakes, crabs, fish, squirrels and other small animals, often swallowing their prey whole. They will also attack a crocodile nest and face down the protective mother to steal a few eggs for a meal. Check out this incredible footage of a monitor lizard versus a mama croc and nest-defending birds:
These dinosaur-looking reptiles are excellent swimmers and climbers, thriving in tropical climates. They can thwart a potential predator with a powerful strike with its tail, have strong jaws, sharp teeth and long claws. Some monitor lizards – like the Savanna or Nile species – can grow to lengths that rival a human adult’s height. I photographed this wild monitor lizard in a tree, below, while on an ecotour in Malaysian Borneo: