Lizards are ancient animals with fossil records dating back 200 million years. They were around during the reign of the dinosaurs and are found throughout the planet today. In fact, lizards occupy every continent on Earth except for Antarctica. Depending on where you are in the world, there could be one living not far from you right now and there could even be one or more making home in your home. They are a very diverse species, coming in all shapes and sizes. The smallest is just millimetres long, while the largest can grow into giants. Some lizards are herbivores, while others are carnivores and they can be found on the ground, underground, in the trees, and even in the water.
Some lizards are fascinating to us and help to stir the imagination. Others are so bizarre in appearance that we can’t help but want to know more about them. They can be docile, or even tame and comfortable around people. Some species make for popular pets and can be found in homes across the world.
With such a large variety of lizards on Earth, it is hardly surprising that some are more loved than others. Here’s a look at some of the most popular, and why they are so interesting.
Popular Lizard #10: Monitor Lizards
Among the most popular of all lizards are the monitor lizards. There are several species of monitor lizard ranging from around eight inches long to very large indeed. They are found throughout hot climates in Africa, Asia and Australasia and some have also made home in the Americas as an invasive species. Monitor lizards mostly survive in healthy populations although some are at risk. Some species, such as the large Asian water monitor, can be found living even in the middle of large cities.
Monitor lizards are fairly popular as pets. The savannah and spiny-tailed monitors in particular are ideal because they are reasonably small and easy to care for. Most monitor lizard species are carnivorous and will eat anything like birds, eggs, fish, molluscs, reptiles and pretty much anything it can catch and consume. They have a keen sense of smell that helps them to locate carrion and some species will also eat fruit and vegetables.