Monsters at The Reptile Zoo!

 Our Beaded Lizards & Gila Monster, newly added exhibit in our REPTILE ZOO!  Are the only two venomous lizard species in the world.  Capable of inflicting a very painful bite!  I can personally vouch for that fact.  They both have  Bull dog like bites, they grab on & it is nearly impossible to get them to release the extreme presure their jaws  exert.

 The Beaded lizard & Gila Monster are combined into the lizard family known by the scientific name Helodermatid.  The scientific name of the Beaded lizard is Heloderma horridum sp. The Gila Monster is known as Heloderma suspectum sp.  The sp. means that each species has at least 2 or more subspecies.

    These lizards are very unusual because of their skin texture.  Both have beadlike looking scales, called osteoderms (bony skin).  These bony scales make these lizards nearly indestructible.  Along with their formidable bite, they are not an animal to trifle with, with out years of experience, as is true with all venomous reptiles.  Luckily both lizards are completely PROTECTED in every state and country they are native to.

    They both have good daytime vision and very keen hearing.  These lizards can also sense an oncoming intruder by detecting minute vibrations in the ground.  These keen senses are a must for survival, considering these animals are slow travelers and incapable of any fast sprints.  Slow & awkward they have another defense, and that is they spend about 90% of their life underground.  Coming out in the spring to forage for food and breed.

    They feed almost exclusively on the contents of other animals nests and underground borrows, such as bird eggs & offspring, rodents, snake & lizard eggs, etc.  Even though they are so clumsy and slow, both are excellent climbers.

    The heloderms range I’ll break down seperately.  Beaded lizards range from southern Sonora Mexico south along the west coast of mainland Mexico into eastern Guatamala in Central America.  On the other hand Gia Monsters are native mostly to southern Arizona, s.w. New Mexico, extreme s.e. California, southern Nevada, and s.w. Utah in the U.S. southward into southern Sonora, Mexico.  So far they are absent from Baja, Mexico and the small islands of the Sea of Cortez.

     Reproduction in Gila Monsters takes place in the spring, with egg clutches numbering 2 to 12, after a gestation period of 25 days.  In captivity Beaded Lizards lay 2 to 22 egg clutches, averages of 6 to 10 eggs are more common.

     My foremost project here at the REPTILE ZOO is reproducing the Beaded Lizards.  So come on in and see how we’re progressing with our breeding colony of 5 specimens! 

      Craig Tauchman    May 6,2012

 

 

 

 

 

Bookmark and Share