We have come across so many instances of animals, birds and reptiles being spotted in and around residential areas ever since the lockdown. As humans stay in, it was almost as if the animals were out to check up on people. Recently, a picture of a monitor lizard spotted at a home in Delhi caused panic among some people. The lizard with its long tail was seen crawling outside a home and because of its size, it got misinterpreted as Komodo Dragons by many. But are these monitor lizards dangerous? Do monitor lizards attack humans? Are their bites poisonous? Let us know more about these reptiles, as their sightings have become increasingly common these days, especially in the North of India.
Monitor lizards are large lizards native to Asia, Africa and Oceania. They have long necks, powerful tails and claws. The ones found in India are called the Bengal monitor or common Indian monitor. They can grow in length in a range of 61 to 175 cm from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail. They mostly feed on ground birds, eggs and fish. Big Feast! Monitor Lizards Caught Eating a Dangerous Reticulated Python Snake in Singapore (Watch Shocking Video).
In India, there are known by different names according to regions. It is called Goyra in Rajasthan, Goshaap in West Bengal, Goh in Punjab and Bihar, Ghorpad in Maharashtra, Goanna in Odia. Read on further to know if they are dangerous.
Are Monitor Lizards Dangerous?
Monitor lizards are usually shy and do not attack anyone unless provoked. These lizards feast mainly on insects like maggots, caterpillars, centipedes, scorpions, crabs, crayfish, snails. They also prey on toads and frogs and their eggs, fish, lizards, snakes, rats, squirrels, hares, musk shrews, and birds.
These lizards are considered traditionally venomous and it is has been found that they do produce some toxins in their lower jaws. They have some glands under the lower jaw which produce the toxin when they bite. Now, this venom is not directly fatal to humans but it can cause illness and pain. The venomous bite is more dangerous for small animals on which they prey. Their venom causes blood clotting, drop and blood pressure and heightens the pain. Their tails are also their weapons as the whip can cause considerable damage to small animals. Meanwhile one of the findings suggests that monitor lizard venom can be used to treat human blood clots.
There are few instances where these reptiles have attacked humans. Komodo Dragons, which are the largest lizards they are dangerous for humans. In case, you have pets, it is advised to keep them in as monitor lizards can attack them and can be dangerous. Monitor lizards do not attack humans unless provoked.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 12, 2020 11:45 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).