Monitor lizard

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Monitor lizards
Varanus albigularis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Scleroglossa
Infraorder: Anguimorpha
Superfamily: Varanoidea
Family: Varanidae
Genus: Varanus

Monitor lizards, the genus Varanus, are also known as also known as biawak or goannas. They are members of the family Varanidae. Their closest living relatives are the anguid and Heloderma lizards.

Varanus is a genus of largely carnivorous lizards. There are about 60 species in 10 subgenera. The species cover a vast area, occurring through Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, to China, down Southeast Asia to Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia and islands of the Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea. A large concentration of monitor lizards occurs on Tioman Island in the Malaysian state of Pahang. Some are now found in South Florida, particularly in the Everglades.

Monitor lizards have long necks, powerful tails and claws, and well-developed limbs. The species include the largest living lizard, the Komodo dragon, and the crocodile monitor.

Most species are terrestrial, but arboreal and semi-aquatic monitors are also known. International trade in five species is banned, and all the others are threatened species.[1]

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