African Fat-Tailed Gecko

African Fat-tailed Gecko

During the dry, summer season, the African fat-tailed gecko estivates, or remains inactive, within a burrow. It can survive lean times off the fat stored in its tail. During active seasons, the gecko emerges from its burrow at night to hunt for insects.

Puff Adder

puff adder web

The most common and widespread venomous snake in Africa, the puff adder is responsible for the majority of snake bites on the continent. Sitting motionless and camouflaged on the ground, the puff adder is often not seen until stepped on. Inch-long fangs deliver enough venom to kill a man with a single bite.

Ornate Monitor

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.

Boa Constrictor

boa web

Thanks to the coloration and pattern of its body, the boa constrictor is barely distinguishable from the forest floor.  Here it sits and waits for the opportunity to ambush unsuspecting prey. Striking and seizing prey in its jaws, the boa then quickly wraps its body around its prey to suffocate it and then swallows it whole.

Rainbow Boa

rainbow boa web

Though it will climb trees to escape danger, the rainbow boa spends most of its time on the ground.  Slinking about at night, its heat-sensing pits enable it to locate warm-blooded prey through temperature differentiation.  The boa subdues its prey through suffocation, constricting it with its body, and then swallows it whole.

California King Snake

California king snake

King snakes are considered the king of snakes for their habit of eating other snakes, including rattlesnakes.  Rattlesnake venom has little effect on them.  The California king snake is primarily active during the day, yet will switch to night hunting as temperatures rise.

White-throated Monitor

white throated monitor web

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.

Green Tree Python

green tree

The most arboreal of the pythons, the green tree python rests in a coil on a tree branch with its head hanging down, ready to strike at prey. It may also attract prey by imitating a worm as it wiggles the tip of its tail. The python has especially long front teeth to catch and grasp prey. After constricting its prey, the python swallows it whole.

Black Tree Monitor

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

blue tounged 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.