Gila Monster

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Gila Monster

Heloderma suspectum
One of only two venomous lizards in the world, the Gila monster uses its venom as a defense. Venom is not necessary for subduing the small prey it eats. Sometimes prey hides underground and the lizard will use its sharp claws to dig it out. It locates prey by picking up its scent as it flicks its forked tongue, much in the same way as a snake.
Fact file:

Length: 1.5 – 2 ft

Weight: 3 to 5 lbs

Habitat: Desert and scrubland

Prey: Small animals, such as rodents, birds and lizards, eggs and carrion

Current Range: Southwestern United States