Tree monitors

Taken at the St. Louis Zoo

The black tree monitor (Varanus beccarii) is designed for a life in the trees, with long curved claws, sticky soles, and a long prehensile tail that serves as a fifth limb. It has longer teeth than do other monitors, which may enable it to more efficiently capture prey in the canopy.


  • Where to see them: Aru Islands
  • Length: 3 to 4 ft
  • Habitat: Forest and mangrove swamp
  • Diet: Insects, lizards, small mammals, and eggs
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