Trivia question for Aug-12-2011

Posted on Aug 12, 2011 in Trivia

Carter and Olivia did a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour in the reptile section at Zoo Atlanta one day and had the opportunity to see these guys up close.  Very impressive… but at a distance.  These guys are one of only two venomous lizard species in the world.

These guys are found in the Southwestern United States and Mexico, a range entailing Sonora, Arizona, parts of California, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico (but not Baja California). They inhabit scrubland, succulent desert, and oak woodland, seeking shelter in burrows, thickets, and under rocks in locations with ready access to moisture. In fact, these guys seem to like water and can be observed immersing themselves in puddles of water after a summer rain. They avoid living in open areas such as flats and farmland.

So here are Carter’s questions: Tell us what this impressive lizard is and tell us which species seems to be immune to the venom of these guys?  Also, tell us which close relative to these guys is the other lizard that is venomous?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations to Meredith Pennino from Palm Harbor, Florida for being the first to identify the big lizard we featured. The Gila monster (pronounced ˈhiːlə/ hee-lə) is a species of venomous lizard native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexican state of Sonora.

Although the Gila Monster’s venom is very effective on mammals and birds, it seems to have little effect on frogs.  Very few people have died from the bite of a Gila Monster, although it is very painful. A heavy, slow-moving lizard, up to 2.0 ft long, the Gila monster is the only venomous lizard native to the United States and one of only two known species of venomous lizards in North America, the other being its close relative, the Mexican beaded lizard.  Here is more on these ancient lizards: Gila Monster

Thanks for playing along 😉