Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The supersized lizard

Wide spread in sub saharan Africa, the Nile Monitor is the largest lizard on the planet. Growing up to 2.1 mts (or 7 ft) Nile Monitors have muscular bodies, sharp claws and powerful jaws but are harmless to humans. They thrive in an aquatic environment and therefore are commonly found in Mahale Mountains NP.

A big monitor lizard coming down one of Greystoke's pathways.

The forested edge of our beach seems to be preferred habitat for this stunning lizard. You would stand a chance to actually spot it from the comfort of your room. Often the big lizard crosses paths between the rooms on its way to prey for food.

Turning a 180 C as we spot each other...

Its diet mainly consists of crocodile eggs, fish, small mammals, insect and birds.
This particularly big monitor crossed our path yesterday when we walked to our room. As we surprised each other with our presence it took an immediate 180 C when encountered. But man, is it a stunning animal to spot up close!

Within a second the XL lizard is running off towards the forest.

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