Gila Monster

Heloderma suspectum

Beaded Beauty…

The Gila monster is a species of venomous lizard native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.The Gila monster is a slow-moving lizard that may reach a length of two feet. The Gila monster is the only species of venomous lizard native to the United States.

Gila monsters inhabit scrubland, succulent desert, and oak woodland, seeking shelter in burrows, thickets, and under rocks in locations with ready access to moisture.

Gila monsters have been observed immersing themselves in puddles of water after a summer rain.

Conservation status: Near threatened.  Urban sprawl and habitat destruction has greatly affected Gila monsters numbers. As a result, Gila monsters are protected by Arizona and Nevada state law. In 1952, they became the first venomous animal to be given legal protection. Humans are the main threat to these animals.

Did you know?
Gila monsters use their extremely acute sense of smell to locate prey, especially eggs. Its sense of smell is so keen that it can locate and dig up chicken eggs buried 15 centimeters deep and accurately follow a trail made by rolling an egg.