The Gila monster is the largest lizard native to the US and was first discovered in Arizona’s Gila River basin. Beadlike scales cover its black body with bright spots, blotches, or yellow, pink, or orange bands. The Gila (pronounced HEE-luh) monsters are one of the two venomous lizard species.
Fun Facts About Gila Monsters:
- These lizards spend most of their lives (about 95 percent) under the ground. Gila monsters only emerge to take a sunbath or to hunt for food. They do not need to eat often since they store fat in their large tails, which helps them survive for long without food.
- Their favorite meal is eggs, but they also feed on newborn mammals such as squirrels, mice, rats, and rabbits. Gila monsters sometimes eat whole quail eggs without crushing the shells.
- The bite of a Gila monster is painful. However, it is not particularly dangerous to human beings.
- A Gila monster is more likely to inject its venom on predators than on its prey.
- They are dark gray and covered with red, pink, yellow, or orange spots.
- The average lifespan of a Gila monster is between 20 and 30 years in the wild.
- A group of Gila monsters is called a lounge.