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Crocodile Monitors - Is the Croc Monitor the Largest Lizard?
By: Jason Abels – Assistant Director www.tigerhomes.org Animal Sanctuary

Crocodile Monitor lizards are one of the rarest of all the different Monitor Lizards. Crocodile Monitors also have the claim to fame of being the “Worlds Largest Lizard”. Now I am sure that 99% of you are thinking, “I always thought that the Komodo Dragon was the worlds largest lizard”. While, there is no doubt that the Komodo Dragon is an extremely big lizard, it is not the largest. In actuality, the Komodo Dragon is the “Heaviest Lizard”. To the best of my knowledge, the largest Komodo Monitor was recorded at 10’2”, and weighed 395 pounds. Definitely a big badass lizard, but still not the biggest.
Crocodile Monitor Pictures
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Crocodile Monitor Crocodile Monitor - Largest  Lizard - Croc

Crocodile Monitor lizards have been documented to reach a length of 15 feet, with stories of 19 footers being told by tribesman deep in the heart of the Papua New Guinea jungles. These incredibly beautiful lizards are also known to have the longest tail, longest claws, and longest teeth of any living Monitor Lizard species. Maybe they should be classified as the “Longest Lizard”, while the Komodo Dragon classified as the “Heaviest Lizard”?

Another really interesting fact about a Crocodile Monitor’s teeth is with the exception of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, it is the only other reptile to have its top and bottom teeth scissor across each other. This drastically improves the animal’s ability to tear and remove flesh from its prey. Not like I think they even need that extra “Ripping & Tearing” feature! Trust me, of all the animals to get bitten by; you definitely do not want one of these guys getting hold of any part of you. If they do, I can guarantee that they will take it with them! Every once in a while, one of the Sanctuary’s group of five animals will get into a fight. When this does occur, the wounds are absolutely horrific to look at! Their teeth are so incredibly sharp and long that they create 4 inch long, deep gashes in each other. Now keep in mind the fact that their skin is so tough, that in most cases when we stitch them up, the suture needle breaks or becomes so dull that it has to be replaced after only 3 – 5 entries into the animals skin. Hard to imagine how much damage they could do to soft human flesh! That is why David and I are always extremely careful when handling these animals, especially EL DIABLO our 10-foot and growing male.

Crocodile Monitors are also extremely intelligent lizards. They remind me allot of the Velociraptors from Jurassic Park. They always, always, have their eye on you. Even if you are 50 feet away in another habitat, they always pay attention. We would love to add WEB CAMS to their habitat down the road. You guys would absolutely go nuts if you saw their “Feeding Behavior”. I would easily compare it to a shark “Feeding Frenzy”. The moment David or I walk out side with a bowl of meet, the Croc Monitors immediately perk up as their flickering tongues detect the smell and taste of food in the air. El Diablo is definitely a 10-foot lizard to keep your eye on at all times. Damian, our other adult male is also a big lizard, measuring out at just over 8 feet from nose to tail. Speaking of the tail, the Crocodile Monitor’s tail comprises about two thirds of the lizards total length. This is one reason why the Croc Monitor does not obtain the huge heavy mass and weight of the Komodo Dragon. This tail is not only extremely useful for balancing high up in the tree tops were this monitor species calls home; but is also a formidable weapon. When threatened, the Crocodile Monitor lizard will whip its advisory with its tail. They are known to aim specifically for the eyes. This tail whip is so powerful that if you are unfortunate to be hit by it, you will be left with extreme welts and even skin lacerations. In any case, we are very fortunate to work with these incredible and rare animals. We hope to one day have them up on Web Cams down the road.