Gila monster has poisonous saliva

The Gila monster is one of only two poisonous lizards in the world. Its home territory is the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of extreme southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, southeastern California, Arizona and southwestern New Mexico into Mexico.

It prefers to live in arid to semi arid gravelly and sandy soils with shrubs. they hide under rocks, in burrows of other animals and in holes it digs itself.

When the desert heats up in the summer, the Gila monster will come out at night to hunt and feed on small mammals, birds and eggs.It will stock up on food in the summer so that its fat stores will keep it through the winter months when its food supply is scarce. Its tail and abdomen store the excess fat.  Both species of Fat stored in the tail and abdomen during this period is utilized during the winter months.

The Gila monster is slow, but stay away from its mouth for it has a strong bite. The saliva is poisonous when it locks its teeth into its prey and chews its food. “Most of the Gila Monster’s teeth have two grooves that conduct the venom, a nerve toxin, from glands in the lower jaw. The toxin is not injected like that of the snake, but flows into the wound as the lizard chews on its victim. While the bite can overpower predators and prey, it is rarely fatal to humans.
The Gila Monster is a stout-bodied lizard that grows 18 to 24 inches in length. It has black, orange, pink or yellow broken blotches, bars and spots, with bands extending onto its blunt tail. Its face is black, and it has small, bead-like scales across its back. It is named for the Gila River Basin of the southwestern United States.”


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