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Monitor Lizard (Family: Varanidae, Genus: Varanus) - Wiki
Subject: Monitor Lizard (Family: Varanidae, Genus: Varanus) - Wiki
Varanus varius1-lace monitor.jpg
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Monitor Lizard (Family: Varanidae, Genus: Varanus) - Wiki


Monitor lizard
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[Photo] An Australian lace monitor (Varanus varius) on a tree. Beschreibung: Varanus varius on a tree trunk, in Byfield National Park, Queensland. Fotograf: ZayZayEM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:ZayZayEM).
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".


Monitor lizards are the family Varanidae, a group of carnivorous lizards which includes the largest living lizard, the Komodo Dragon. Varanidae contains only a single genus: Varanus.

In Australia, monitor lizards are known as goannas.

Distribution
The various species of Varanus cover a vast area, occurring through Africa, the Asian subcontinent from India and Sri Lanka to China, down Southeast Asia to Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia and islands of the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

Evolutionary overview
Monitor lizards are considered to be the most derived lizards, possessing a relatively high metabolic rate for reptiles and several sensory adaptations that benefit the hunting of live prey. Recent work indicates that the Varanid lizards, including the Komodo dragon, have very weak venom. Some monitor lizards are apparently capable of parthenogenesis. Monitor lizards are carnivorous .

Origin of the name
The genus name, "Varanus" is derived from the Arabic word waral ??????, which is translated to English as "monitor". It has been suggested that the occasional habit of varanids to stand on their two hind legs and to appear to "monitor" their surroundings led to the original Arabic name. According to legend, these lizards were supposed to warn people that crocodiles were nearby.

Apparent intelligence
Varanid lizards are very intelligent, and some species can even count. Careful studies feeding V. albigularis at the San Diego Zoo varying numbers of snails showed that they can distinguish numbers up to six. V. niloticus have been observed to cooperate when foraging. One varanid lures the female crocodile away from her nest while the other opens the nest to feed on the eggs. The decoy then returns to also feed on the eggs. Komodo dragons, V. komodoensis, at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., recognize their keepers and seem to have distinct personalities.

Monitor Lizards as Pets
Many people consider monitor lizards to be excellent pets. The most commonly kept monitors are the savannah monitor, white throated monitor, and eyed monitor, due to their relatively small size and ease of domestication. Nile monitors, water monitors, and papau monitors have also been kept in captivity. Like all reptiles that are kept as pets, monitors need hiding places, and an appropriate substrate (bedding). Usually, the best substrate is leaf litter. Monitors also need a large water dish in which they can soak their entire body. In the wild, monitors will eat anything they can overpower, but crickets, superworms, and the occasional rodent make up most of the captive monitors' diet. Boiled eggs, silkworms, earthworms, and feeder goldfish can also be fed to monitors. Monitor lizards can be thought of as reptillian cats - independent animals with different personalities. Some people have gone so far as to claim that their monitors demonstrated genuine affection. As with most pets, it can be dangerous to keep monitors in some situations, such as around small children. There are many books and care sheets on keeping monitors as pets.

Classification
Genus Varanus

Spiny-tailed goanna, Varanus acanthurus acanthurus
Common Ridge-tailed Monitor, Varanus acanthurus brachyurus
Island Ridge-tailed Monitor, Varanus acanthurus insulanicus
Rock Monitor, Varanus albigularis
White-throated Monitor, Varanus albigularis albigularis
Angola White-throated Monitor, Varanus albigularis angolensis
Black-throated Monitor, Varanus albigularis ionidesi
Peacock Monitor, Varanus auffenbergi
Northern Ridge-tailed Goanna, Varanus baritji
Black tree monitor, Varanus beccarii
Bengal monitor, Varanus bengalensis
Golden-spotted Tree Monitor, Varanus boehmei
Louisiade Tree Monitor, Varanus bogerti
Short-tailed monitor, Varanus brevicauda
Pilbara Goanna Varanus bushi
Turquois Monitor, Varanus caerulivirens
Stripe-tailed Goanna, Varanus caudolineatus
Ceram Mangrove Monitor, Varanus cerambonensis
Blue-tailed Monitor, Varanus doreanus
Dumeril's Monitor, Varanus dumerilii
Desert Pygmy Monitor, Varanus eremius
Savannah monitor, Varanus exanthematicus
Finsch's Monitor, Varanus finschi
Yellow Mangrove Monitor, Varanus flavescens
Perentie, Varanus giganteus
Pygmy Mulga Goanna, Varanus gilleni
Kimberley Rock Monitor, Varanus glauerti
Black-palmed Rock Monitor, Varanus glebopalma
Sand goanna, Varanus gouldii
Horn's Monitor, Varanus gouldii horni
Yellow-spotted Monitor, Varanus gouldii rubidus
Desert Monitor, Varanus griseus
Western Desert Monitor, Varanus griseus griseus
Eastern Desert Monitor, Varanus griseus caspius
Thar Desert Monitor, Varanus griseus koniecznyi
Mangrove Monitor, Varanus indicus
Peach Throat Monitor, Varanus jobiensis
Hakoi, Varanus juxtindicus
Canopy Goanna, Varanus keithhornei
King's Goanna, Varanus kingorum
Komodo Dragon, Varanus komodoensis
Kordo Tree Monitor, Varanus kordensis
Panay Monitor, Varanus mabitang
Blue-spotted Tree Monitor, Varanus macraei
Quince Monitor, Varanus melinus
Mertens' Water Monitor, Varanus mertensi
Mitchell's Water Monitor, Varanus mitchelli
Clouded Monitor, Varanus nebulosus
Nile monitor, Varanus niloticus
Gray's monitor, Varanus olivaceus
Ornate Monitor, Varanus ornatus
Argus monitor, Varanus panoptes panoptes
Varanus panoptes horni
Varanus panoptes rubidus
Pilbara Rock Monitor, Varanus pilbarensis
Emerald Tree Monitor, Varanus prasinus
Blunt-spined Goanna, Varanus primordius
Megalania, Varanus prisca (extinct)
Varanus rainerguentheri
Reisinger's Tree Monitor, Varanus reisingeri
Rosenberg's Goanna or Heath Monitor, Varanus rosenbergi
Black Roughneck Monitor, Varanus rudicollis
Crocodile monitor, Varanus salvadorii
Water Monitor, Varanus salvator
Asian Water Monitor, Varanus salvator salvator
Andaman Islands Water Monitor, Varanus salvator andamanensis
Two-striped Water Monitor, Varanus salvator bivittatus
Cuming's Water Monitor, Varanus salvator cumingi
Black Water Monitor, Varanus salvator komaini
Marbled Water Monitor, Varanus salvator marmoratus
Negros Water Monitor, Varanus salvator nuchalis
Togian Water Monitor, Varanus salvator togianus
Spotted Tree Goanna, Varanus scalaris
Mangrove pygmy goanna, Varanus semiremex
Spencer's Goanna, Varanus spenceri
St. Isabel Mangrove Monitor, Varanus spinulosus
Storr's Goanna, Varanus storri
Eastern Storr's Goanna, Varanus storri storri
Western Storr's Monitor, Varanus storri ocreatus
Rossel Island Tree Monitor, Varanus telenesetes
Timor Tree Monitor, Varanus timorensis
Black-headed Monitor, Varanus tristis
Freckled Monitor, Varanus tristis orientalis
Lace Monitor, Varanus varius
Yemen Monitor, Varanus yemenensis
Tri-colored Monitor, Varanus yuwonoi
Varanus zugorum

Trivia
The movie monster Varan takes its name from this genus.
In a season 4 episode of Hey Arnold, the character Helga owned a monitor lizard.
In My Gym Partner's a Monkey, one of the hall monitors is a monitor lizard
A subplot of The Freshman starring Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando, features the transport of a Komodo dragon (actually an Asian water monitor, V. salvator) that is to be slaughtered and served at an exclusive dinner club.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monitor_lizard
The text in this page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article shown in above URL. It is used under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL.

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