Spiny-tailed Monitor

As its name implies, the spiny-tailed 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.


The chuckwalla is a diurnal lizard that emerges from its rocky shelter to bask in the sun and forage for leaves and fruit during the day. When faced with a coyote, hawk or other predator, the chuckwalla scurries into a rock crevice and inflates its body to wedge in tight for protection.

Green Basilisk


A member of the iguana family, the green basilisk lizard spends most of its time in the trees and is never far from water. When faced with danger, the basilisk will drop from a tree into the water and sprint across the water’s surface on specially designed feet to escape.


Lace Monitor

During the breeding season, a female lace monitor digs a hole in a termite mound and lays up to 12 eggs inside. The termites patch up the hole, keeping the monitor eggs warm inside. The female returns about nine months later when the eggs hatch to help the hatchlings dig their way out.

The lace monitor uses its long sharp claws to climb trees and seeks shelter in tree hollows.


Blue Spiny Lizard

Closely related to the iguana, the blue spiny lizard sports sharp, pointy scales for defense. It also relies on camouflage to keep from being seen. When it’s time to win a mate, however, males will show off their blue throats and underbellies.

Ornate Monitor

The ornate monitor pretty much eats whatever it can catch, or in the case of carrion, whatever it can sniff out. Sometimes two monitors will team up to make a meal. One distracts a mother crocodile or bird from its nest, while the other robs the nest of its eggs.

White-throated Monitor

The white-throated monitor spends its day patrolling the savanna, seeking out small animals with its scent-detecting tongue. During the hottest part of the day, it shades itself under tree roots or uses its strong claws to dig out a resting den. If threatened, the monitor puffs up its body and lashes with its powerful tail.

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.

Blue-tongued Skink

Flicking its tongue as many as 300 times per hour, the skink tongue picks up airborne biochemical particles given off by food, predators, mates, and so on. It also sticks out its striking blue tongue to startle and distract predators.

Solomon Island Skink

The largest skink species, the Solomon Island skink is unique among skinks for its arboreal and herbivorous lifestyle. It uses its muscular legs and sharp claws to climb trees as a prehensile tail grasps branches and limbs while foraging for leaves at night.