Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Water Monitor Lizard on a Walkabout

Through the glass from inside the house I looked out into the backyard garden and saw this snake-like head peeking out from below a ledge. My immediate reaction was to jump back. Then I saw its claws and heaved a sigh of relief as it was actually a water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator). These lizards can reach up to six feet long and weigh up to 100 lbs. It is carnivorous, feeding on small mammals and are also scavengers.

I observed it from behind the sheer curtain so it was not awared of my presence. This one was about one and half feet long. It was cautious; looking out intently in all directions for a while before deciding that the coast was clear to emerge.

The dorsal surface of its hands and feet were patterned in mehendi fashion.

It then moved out towards the pool, turning to skirt round it.

 
While trying to get the best angle to reduce the reflection through the glass, I noisily knocked on some furniture. That's when it immediately made a complete turn around.
 
It scampered back,


towards the safe sanctuary

of its hideout under the ledge, 

near a container of Red Dracaena marginata.

It paused for a moment on the deck before disappearing reluctantly into its abode. The pattern of its hide can be considered to be beautiful. Hmn ... wondering whether its hide would make a nice wallet or a fanciful belt. Just kidding.


 
This arboreal lizard was spotted on a green Dracaena marginata plant in the patio.


While on  a trip to Sandakan recently, I was at the waterfront of Four Points by Sheraton looking out to sea ...


when I saw this large monitor lizard of about five feet long swimming to land. It swam with the undulation of the tail, propelling it forward. 


"Precisely the least, the softest, lightest, a lizard's rustling, a breath, a flash, a moment - a little makes the way of the best happiness."~ Friedrich Nietzsche


it then climbed onto the rocks.


And stuck its forked tongue out which was not pink like humans but bluish-black.

Why does the lizard stick his tongue out? The lizard sticks its tongue out because that's the way its listening and looking and tasting its environment. It's its means of appreciating what's in front of it.
- William Shatner


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