Found: Papua New Guinea
Size: Up to 13 feet long
Diet: Frogs, rodents, carrion, eggs
Life Span: 12 to 20 years
The crocodile monitor is reported to be the longest lizard in the world reaching lengths of up to 13 feet. Its cousin, the Komodo dragon, is the largest lizard in bulk weighing up to 200 pounds, but only reaching 12 feet in length. Monitors have long, pointed teeth and there are many flaps or folds of skin around the throat region. The tail is generally twice as long as the head and body. They can use it as a "whip" against predators and can cause serious injury to anything trying to attack them.
Monitors, like snakes, have forked tongues---the shape
allows for better accuracy in locating a prey's scent.
Unlike most monitors, which have
curved teeth to hold their prey, crocodile monitors have flat, serrated teeth
for slicing and tearing meat. The crocodile monitor's bite is similar to that of
a crocodilian, hence its name.