Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family: Varanidae

Genus: Varanus

Specimen Description

Most of the monitor lizards have “U” shaped skull. The frontal region is compressed. The two large orbits on the sides. The skull of the lizard is often mobile, with flexible jaws, they can widen their throat by dropping the lower jaw. The teeth is short and conical arranged in a row around the edges of the jaw, some monitors have broad, flat crowns while others have curved teeth.

About the animal

There are at least 50 known species of monitor lizards, with new ones being discovered all the time. Some have been known to be as small as 8 inches, but most (such as the Nile monitor lizard that has become popular in Florida) can be quite large. They have long necks and sturdy limbs. Their claws are very sharp, and their tails typically account for half of their body length. Most species of monitor lizards stick to the ground, but some prefer to make their homes in trees or near water. Almost all species of monitor lizards are carnivorous, though a few will eat fruit.


David P. Badge, Lizards, MBI publishing Company, USA, 2006.

All About Monitor Lizards