ANIMAL: Black-Throated Monitor Varanus ionidesi Type of Animal: Monitor Habitat: Savanna, verdant shrubland, woodland, rocky outcrops Location(s): East & Southern Africa Appearance: Dark gray-brown to black w/ yellowish/white markings, black throat, males larger than females, long tail, big head, lighter markings by legs/feet Food/Diet: Lizards (including younger members of own species), snakes (including venomous species), birds, small mammals, eggs, locusts, roaches, crickets, grasshoppers, snails, worms, beetles, millipedes, insect larvae, crabs, crayfish, fruit, fish, shrimp, young crocodiles Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding from zoos, wildlife parks, & private breeders Lifestyle: Solitary Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young-Hatchling Group-Solitary Weight: Male-40 lbs Female-25 lbs Young-10 lbs Gestation: 3 months Life Span: 20 years Body Length: Male-6-7 ft Female-4 ft Young-2 ft Tail Length: Male-3 ft Female-2 ft Young-1.25 ft Main predators of adults are leopards, large pythons, lions, crocodiles, hyenas, wild dogs, large eagles, & ratels/honey badgers. Juveniles & young eaten by adult monitors, raptors, caracals, & servals. Males fight to the death over territory, slashing & biting at each other. They can run rather fast. Females can lay clutches w/ as many as 40 eggs. Females often lay eggs in termite mounds. These monitors are not great swimmers & prefer being away from water. They swallow food whole. Similar to snakes, they have forked tongues. They’re in same family as komodo dragons (monitor lizards). They’re active during the day (diurnal). Use forked tongues to sense prey & surroundings. Sexually mature at 3 years. Male territories 7 sq mi & female territories 2.5 sq mi. Breeds in dry season w/ hatchings occurring in rainy season. Fun Fact(s): Some experiments have shown them to be able to count to 6. Can be aggressive when young but often mellow out w/ age. Some monitors have been leash trained. Their tail can be an effective weapon.