lifestyle Science

Asian Water Monitor

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The water monitor (Varanus Salvator), often widely known as the Asian water monitor because of its distribution in the Asian continent, is a fascinating species. Not only is it the second biggest species of lizards in the world, but also one of the quickest lizards on earth. Asian water monitors have rippling muscles throughout their extended body and a big, powerful tail. Asian water monitor’s body is coated with scales. The scale pattern is known as ‘keeled’ as the scales on the back are smaller than the ones on its head. Common water monitor lizards are black or brown and have a pattern in the yellow hue on their belly, which disappears with maturity.

Numerous subspecies of Asian water monitor populations are found in the wild, including Malaysian water monitor, Sumatran water monitor, Nile water monitor, Chinese water monitor, albino water monitor, Malayan water monitor, common water monitor, and several more. All in all, although they are safe to humanity until disturbed, this reptile is still a carnivore and is savage when it comes to consuming its prey.

Carry on with us to find out more about Asian water monitors! If you enjoyed learning about the Asian water monitor for kids, you might be interested in learning more about the alligator or the Komodo dragon.

Asian Water Monitor Size

The typical Asian water monitor size is five to eight feet in length for adult males and four to size feet for mature females. This dimension includes their tail, which makes up a considerable amount of their size.

The Asian water monitor is the third-longest lizard globally, behind only the Komodo dragon and the crocodile monitor. In adulthood, this lizard may weigh as much as 150 pounds!

Lifespan

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Asian water monitor (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

The lifespan of an Asian water monitor is roughly 15 years. With appropriate care and healthy food and habitat, these lizards may survive for 20 years or more.

One of the primary reasons these lizards may have a shorter lifespan in captivity is that owners aren’t completely prepared for the care they demand. Always be sure you have an exact idea of what has to be done before acquiring one!

Distribution

Asian water monitors are extensively scattered from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Chinese Guangxi and Hainan provinces, Malaysia, Singapore to the Sunda islands Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo, and Sulawesi. They occupy a range of natural settings, yet mostly these lizards occur in primary forests and mangrove wetlands. They may also flourish in agricultural settings and towns with canal systems. Mangrove vegetation, swamps, and wetlands are among the species’ most critical habitats.

Habits and Lifestyle

Asian water monitors are semiaquatic; they are adept swimmers, utilizing the high fin on their tails to guide them through the water. They are diurnal animals. During the night or while merely resting, monitors hide in trees, behind shrubs, huge roots, or crevices in between rocks. They also create burrows that typically lay near the river or stream and are partly submerged. Asian water monitors defend themselves with their tails, claws, and jaws. When threatened by a predator like the King cobra, these animals would use their formidable claws and legs to scale trees for cover. If this avoidance is not enough to escape danger, they may leap from trees into streams for safety.

Diet and Nutrition

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Varanus salvator, water monitor, eating fish in the park.
(Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Asian water monitors are hypercarnivores. This implies their food is 100 per cent meat and totally comprised of other animals and their eggs. There are also tales of water monitors discovering and consuming human remains.

These opportunistic predators feed in both urban and rural habitats. This leads to a naturally diversified diet that includes: rodents, domestic animals, birds, crabs, snakes, lizards, juvenile crocodiles, eggs and turtles.

In captivity, an Asian water monitor requires a lot of food, particularly while growing.

Juveniles under one year old should be given a diet of gut-loaded crickets, cockroaches, mealworms, tiny fish, and shrimp every day. Feed them with tongs or on a separate dish or tray. You want to avoid forming a relationship between your hand and feeding.

Two feedings a week are plenty for adults.

You may put in pre-killed chicks, mice, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, and organ meat as they get older.

For your lizard to get the nourishment it needs, you must provide a variety of foods. Different prey also offers enrichment and makes feeding time an exciting experience. Sprinkle feeder insects with a vitamin D3/calcium powder every second meal to enhance their nutrition.

Asian water monitors will seldom skip a meal and may quickly become fat. You should alter the quantity you feed depending on their size and age. After feeding, your lizard should have a slightly rounded tummy but not bloated.

Mating Habits

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Asian water monitors Mating (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Asian water monitors breed from April and till October. Females deposit their eggs a month after mating, generally on decaying logs or tree stumps. A clutch normally comprises roughly 10-40 eggs incubated throughout 6-7 months. The kids are fully-developed and autonomous at birth. Males become reproductively mature at approximately 1 m in size, and females are reproductively developed at around 50 cm.

Population threats

The Asian water monitor is one of the most exploited varanids; its skin is utilized for fashion items such as shoes, belts, and purses exported globally. Other applications include a supposed treatment for skin diseases, novelty food in Indonesia, as a considered aphrodisiac, and as pets. Loss of habitat and hunting has eradicated water monitors from much of continental India. In other locations, they survive despite being hunted.

FAQ (FrequentlyAsked Question)

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An Asian water monitor(Varanus salvator) is swimming on the river. Animals. Reptiles.
(Image Credit: Shutterstock)

How cute are they?

Water monitors are critters that are far from adorable. The black temporal band edged with yellow that stretches back from each eye, forked tongue, and the neck with an extended nose give them a menacing aspect. Even though they prefer water and can swim like crocodiles, they are not nearly as sluggish as crocodiles. Monitor lizards may be aggressive when confronted or provoked, and to protect themselves, they will use their claws and sharp fangs. They are powerful enough to be able to tear your skin straight down to your tendons. Moreover, even though they are not very terrified of people, they emit hissing sounds to signify that other animals remain away.

How do they communicate?

The water monitor mainly communicates through hissing sounds and motions of its neck.

How large is a water monitor?

Asian water monitor, in its full mature size, may grow to 120 in (10 ft) (10 ft). However, the typical size of most water monitors is roughly 48-96 in (4-8 ft) (4-8 ft). Its typical weight is around 43 lb (19 kg) (19 kg).

How quickly can a water monitor move?

The water monitor is a skilled swimmer and can attain speeds greater than 25 mph (40 km) in water due to its muscular legs.

How much does a water monitor weigh?

A water monitor, on average, weighs around 43 lb (19 kg) (19 kg). However, numerous research has typically revealed that this water monitor’s weight often fluctuates according to demographic and sex.

Are they dangerous?

Owing to their sheer size, strength, and the fact that they are poisonous and powerful reptiles that will not shy away from defending themselves from any attack, the Asian water monitor may be hazardous. As a consequence, keeping water monitor pets at home is not suggested. Special specialists regard the Asian water monitor bite as exceedingly painful and hazardous.

Would they make a good pet?

An Asian water monitor pet would not be a good choice since they are wild reptiles that require room to wander and wilderness to forage for prey. On the other hand, Pet water monitors may be deadly to humans since they have sharp teeth powerful enough to gnaw through human flesh to the tendons. An adult water monitor, if maintained as a pet, would need a specific water monitor cage and a proper understanding of Asian water monitor care.

How long can a water monitor hold its breath?

A water monitor can hold its breath for up to 20 and 30 minutes underwater and has a unidirectional breathing ability, which means that it consumes oxygen both when inhaling as well as exhaling.

What is the function of water monitors’ claws?

A water monitor utilizes its claws not just for self-defence but also for hunting prey and feeding. They consume by manipulating their limbs much as mammals do and keeping their prey in front of their nose with the help of their claws.

Also Read: Red eyed crocodile skink

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