Lizard In The Wild By Kaye Menner
Photograph - Photography
I captured this amazing lizard / goanna whilst we were driving around the outskirts of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. The real Australian outback desert. This guy would have been only around 50cm (say 20 inches long).
This lizard was on the sand / dirt road. We managed to stop and capture a couple of images of him before he ran off. I loved his patterns of yellow spots and stripes.
More info from Internet]
The sand goanna (Varanus gouldii) is a species of large Australian monitor lizard, also known as Gould's monitor, sand monitor, or racehorse goanna.
Sand Monitor – the full story
Also known as Sand Goannas, Gould’s Monitors or Racehorse Goannas, Sand Monitors (Varanus gouldii) are voracious eaters and will eat almost anything that is smaller than them, including other lizards. Sand Monitors live all over Australia except the very south and south-east.
They can grow up to 160 cm and can weigh as much as 6 kg and are the second largest monitor species in Australia, after the Perentie, which can be over 2 m long.
Their exceptionally strong legs are just made for digging, and they put their sharp claws and snout to work, too.
They live in burrows, often setting up a home in an abandoned rabbit warren. These burrows do double duty, as protection from the elements and predators. The entrance to the burrow is often concealed behind a fallen log, shrub or rock.
Their mating season is November and December and they lay an average of 6 eggs per clutch. When it’s time to lay eggs, the female sand monitor makes use of a termite mound, digging to the centre and letting the termites reconstruct the mound around the clutch. The termites regulate temperature and humidity of the eggs.
The Sand Monitor’s beautifully patterned scales set them apart from plainer lizards. They are greenish-grey all over, with ringed yellow spots. These spots are most prominent on their tail and lower torso, where they form patterns and bands.
The head of a Sand Monitor resembles that of a snake, and has yellow patterns on the sides. The end of the Sand Monitor’s tail is usually white, cream or yellow.
The Sand Monitor is a diurnal species, which means that it is active during the day and sleeps at night.
Sand Monitor’s have an extremely keen sense of smell, and use their long, forked tongues to explore their environment. When hunting for food, they keep their snout close to the ground, and flick their tongue in and out, using scent to find any hidden prey underground.
April 25th, 2021
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