Dragons!

dragonsHudo the Komodo dragon is the main attraction in the new Dragons! exhibit, but you will also see a great collection of other monitor lizards.

More About Our Monitor Lizards

Komodo Dragon - The Komodo dragon is the king of meat-eating monitor lizards. Emerging from its burrow, a Komodo dragon starts out the day with a soak in the sun. Then it sets off on a hunt for food, perhaps a deer or wild pig. With its belly full, the lizard takes a break during the midday heat before the search for supper begins.

Crocodile Monitor - While the Komodo dragon may be the largest lizard, the crocodile monitor holds the title of longest lizard, thanks to a tail that is twice as long as its body. In addition to providing balance, the crocodile monitor’s long tail can be used like a whip to defend itself.

Blue Tree Monitor - Scientists describe newly discovered species of monitors still today. The blue tree monitor, for example, was only just discovered in 2001 on the small Indonesian island of Batanta. Very little is known about its natural history.

Green Tree Monitor - Specialized for an arboreal lifestyle, the green tree monitor’s slender body and long claws enable it to lie along slim tree branches without slipping. It also holds on by wrapping its long, prehensile tail around a tree branch. While most monitors are solitary, the green tree monitor hangs out in small groups.

Quince Monitor - Only known to science since 1997, the quince monitor’s wild habits remain mysterious. In captivity, they swim and dive readily, suggesting that they may be found in swamps as well as forest. With sharp claws, the quince monitor is also a good climber.

Ackies Dwarf Monitor - Also called the spiny-tailed monitor or ridge-tailed monitor, Ackies dwarf monitor has a long tail that is ringed with spines or ridges. Wedging its tail into a rock crevice, the spines help to hold the monitor in place and make it difficult for a predator to pull the lizard out.


Black Tree Monitor - The black tree monitor is designed for a life in the trees, with long curved claws, sticky soles, and a long prehensile tail that serves as a fifth limb. It has longer teeth than do other monitors, which may enable it to more efficiently capture prey in the canopy.

White throat monitor - The White-throated Monitor, found throughout Central and Southern Africa, has a large and muscular body, an elongated head with a dome-shaped snout, short sturdy limbs, and a strong, thick tail. The tail is used as a prehensile organ.