The Crocodile monitor is a monitor lizard found in New Guinea. While the Komodo dragon may be the largest lizard, the crocodile monitor holds the title of longest lizard, thanks to a tail that is twice as long as its body.
Scientific name: Varanus salvadorii
Family Classification: Varanidae
Common names: Crocodile monitor, Salvadori's monitor, Papua monitor
IUCN Red List Category: Not Listed
Countries: New Guinea
Description: The Crocodile monitor, or Salvadori's monitor, is the largest monitor lizard in New Guinea. It is believed to be one of the longest lizards in the world, reaching up to 2.4 m (7.8 ft). Like all other monitor lizards, the crocodile monitor can be distinguished by its long thin forked tongue; the only other reptiles to share this common trait are snakes.
Maximum adult length: 2 metres (6.5 ft)
Diet and predation: They feed on birds, small mammals, eggs, and carrion in the wild, using teeth that are better adapted than those of most monitors for seizing fast-moving prey.
Conservation status: The species is threatened by deforestation and poaching, and is protected by the CITES agreement. The lizard is hunted and skinned alive by tribesmen to make drums, who describe the crocodile monitor as an evil spirit that "climbs trees, walks upright, breathes fire, and kills men"; yet the tribesmen maintain that the monitor gives warnings if there are crocodiles nearby.
Crocodile Monitor Profile