Rock Monitor (Varanus albigularis)

Rock Monitor smelling for prey with its forked tongue

Rock Monitor smelling for prey with its forked tongue

With a length of up to 1.5 m, the Rock Monitor or White-throated Monitor (Varanus albigularis) is the second largest lizard of Africa! It occurs in large parts of the continent – from the Congo, Kenya, and Ethiopia south until the Cape. It is also quite adaptable to different habitats, but mostly seen in dry savannahs. The animals are diurnal covering a distance of up to 5 km each day in search for food. Generally, they hunt on the ground, but they are also proper climbers as the photographs show. The lizards prey mainly on snails and insects, but sometimes also catch cobras, small birds, or even mammals. I have photographed these big reptiles in the Etosha National Park in northern Namibia during a visit in February 2007.

Rock Monitor climbing a tree

Rock Monitor climbing a tree

Rock Monitor

Rock Monitor

Rock Monitor

Rock Monitor

Rock Monitor

Rock Monitor

Rock Monitor

Rock Monitor

Rock Monitor

Rock Monitor

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