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Green Tree Monitor

Green Tree Monitor, Varanus pasinus

green_tree_monitorDescription: This is one of the smaller species of monitor lizard, with adults attaining a length 80cm, including the tail. The reason for their small size is most likely due to the fact that they are almost completely arboreal and their size makes it easier for them to move around in the rainforest canopy. The lizards are bright emerald green in order to help them stay camouflaged, and they have long hook like claws and a prehensile tail to help them climb. They also possess modified scales under each toe, which are black, and which also help the lizard to grip branches up in the treetops. They have a long neck and a heavily forked tongue, like a snake, which they use to taste the air when hunting and foraging for food. They are diurnal and active during the day.

Reproduction: Females lay up to 6 oval shaped eggs that are deposited within the hollows of trees and where they are protected from the many predators living on the ground. Eggs take up to 6 months to hatch. Young emerge as a miniature form of the parent, completely independent from birth and ready to leave the nest immediately. Here they will live in the canopy, feeding on any small insects, baby birds, or small mammals that they can catch.

Diet: Invertebrates and small mammals.

Distribution: New Guinea.

Conservation status: Threatened

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