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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gila Monster

The Gila monster, or Heloderma suspectum in Latin, is one of the two known lizards which are poisonous. This monster has its home in the southwest of the U.S. and in the North of Mexico.

There are two types of Gila monsters: one who's lighter colors are unbroken bands and the other one's colors are more broken up by dark scales.

It can grow up to 2 feet long and is very recognizable due to the pink or orange colors, although blue, silver and yellow can occur as well. The older it gets, the more the colors tend to loose their intensity.

Its large forefeet with sharp claws are used for digging, which comes in handy since this monster spends most of the year in burrows and under rocks. They can mostly be found in scrub land, succulent desert and oak woodland and mostly near water holes, since it loves to dive in. You may not likely see one, they spend most of their lives underground.

Its diet consists mainly of birds, reptile eggs, mammals, frogs, lizards and insects, but it is not shy of eating found leftovers.

The bite of this monster is poisonous, but to be bitten by it is usually a result of people's curiosity or persuasive behavior; the creature is rather slow and sluggish. Once it bites though, it will not easily let go and the chewing motion of it's jaws will slowly but surely inject the venom. The best way to prod it to let go is to submerge it under water.

The venom causes extreme pain, a drop in blood pressure, edema, bulging eyes and hemorrhoids in organs. Even though it may not be lethal to a healthy person, a visit to a doctor is recommended.

The Gila Monster is protected in Nevada and Arizona by a state law, so if you happen to see one, just take a picture from a distance and go your merry way, while you still can.



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