Bookmarkable URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10217/53686

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Family:Helodermatidae
Genus:Heloderma
Genus species:Heloderma suspectum

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:45-61 cm
Identification:The gila monster has bead-like scales with orange, yellow, and black patterns. Its tail is short and stout.
Habitat:Arid and semiarid regions
Diet:Carnivore: bird and reptile eggs, young rodents, carrion
Reproduction:After mating in the summer, females lay 3-5 eggs the following fall or winter. Gila monsters can live up to 20 years in captivity.
Behavior:Gila monsters are nocturnal.
Status:Vulnerable
Interesting Facts:The tail is used for fat storage. Gila monsters are one of two species of venomous lizards. The venom enters the jaw via grooved teeth on the bottom jaw as the lizard chews. Envenomation can be fatal, affecting the victim's nervous system.

Other Information

Geographic:Southwestern North America Date:1965-06 Subjects:herptile
Gila monster
lizard
reptile
Heloderma
Helodermatidae
Lizards
Squamata
Reptiles
Mammals
Vertebrates
Chordata