Name: Gila Monster, Heloderma suspectum

Desription:
  • Reptile
  • The Gila Monster is a rather large lizard, sausage shaped, growing from 30-60 cm long. It has camoflauged kind of scale pattern consisting of brown and tan and has strong legs with claws.
    external image 250px-Gila_monster2.JPG
  • Gila monster's feed mostly on bird and reptile eggs, but occasionally upon small birds, mammals, frogs, lizards, and insects. They only eat 5-10 times in a year, filling up 1/3 of its body weight each time. These "monster's" favorite food would most likely be eggs, due to their percise sense of smell they can find eggs buried 15cm under ground.
  • To attract or smell out females the male will flick the tongue, if the female accepts she will mate with the male lizard and lay eggs in July or August.
The litter consits of 2-12 eggs, 5 is the average amount. These eggs take 9 months to hatch.

Habitat:
  • Live in mostly Southwestern United States, and Northern Mexico.
  • The Heloderma Genus, which the Gila Monster is included in, is dated back 8000 years ago, proven through fossils. They are now found in western and southern Arizona, south to southern Sonora in Mexico, although populations are also found in restricted areas of California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico.
  • They live in scrubland, succulent desert, and oak woodland, seeking shelter in burrows, thickets, and under rocks in locations with ready access to moisture.
  • Gila Monsters do not migrate, they are slow reptiles.
  • They burrow under ground to hibernate, starting in November.
  • The Gila Monsters predators are humans, coyotes, and birds of prey.


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