Wild Fact #41 – Standing Tall – Argus Monitor

Argus Monitor


Cool Facts About The  Argus Monitor

  • The Argus Monitor is also know as the Yellow-Spotted Monitor due to the fact that it has beautiful (and distinguishing) yellow spots on their back.
  • The size difference between a male and a female of this species if huge: while males reach up to 120–140 cm ( 4–5 feet), females can measure not more than 90 cm (3 feet).
  • Being one of the largest species of the Varanus family, they eat an amazing amount of food at one meal, from fish and birds to rodents and even others of their own kind (I guess you don’t grow that large without having a healthy appetite)

The Fashionable Lizard

Argus Monitor (Varanus panoptes) is mostly found in the northern regions of Australia and New Guinea where they can typically be found hanging out close to a healthy source of water. If you are planning on catching one of these cute lizards, you had better be quick as they can run up to 100 yards/meter. So, yeah, you will need to be wearing your running shoes. If you do catch an Argus Monitor, you will quickly realize that they are beautifully spotted giant lizards, some of the most beautiful in the Varanus family. Their black or dark coloured body is decorated with almost symmetrical rows of tan spots that travel from their all the way from their head down to the tip of their powerful tail.  Argus Monitor Standing

A Strong Defence

One of the most unique behaviors these monitor lizards have is to stand on their two hind legs, using their strong muscular tail to balance and stay still. The reason they do this is to appear larger when they feel threatened.  Yes, I know, they look weird standing on only two feet, but I definitely wouldn’t want an Angus Monitor staring me down while standing on their hind legs.  And if this doesn’t scare the predator, they pull out their second best move and run for their lives to the nearest burrow where they hide until the danger passes away.

Standing on two feet is also an offensive strategy as it helps the lizard spot potential prey from a distance. So what the eat? Anything! The Argus Monitor is known to on animals such as fish, birds, insects, small mammals and even some of their own species, but smaller in size. These carnivorous predators are also called bottomless pits since they have a huge appetite for everything that has meat on.

All in all, Argus Monitors are amazing cold blooded creatures which can kill in an instant, with their beautiful looks and powerful jaws.


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  1. Lisa Moody 1 year ago

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