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Steppe monitor lizard (Cape)
Steppe monitor lizard (Cape)
Giant lizard, inhabitant of rocky areas and forests of Africa
Type: Chordates
Class: Reptiles
Order: Scaly
Family: Monitor lizards
Genus: Monitor Lizards
Species: Steppe Monitor Lizard
General Settings
  • Range-It lives in the western, central and southern parts of Africa.
  • Body length-1.3 m.
  • Weight-35-40 kg.
  • The basis of the diet consists of small mammals, birds, snakes, toads, lizards and bird eggs.
  • Life expectancy is up to 10 years.

The monitor lizard receives information about the environment using its tongue, sticking it out 20-40 times every 2 minutes.

Social behavior

Solitary animals that lead a rather secretive and closed lifestyle. Males occupy a certain territory and defend their possessions with special aggressiveness. Monitor lizards are most active during the day, only taking refuge in burrows during the intense heat.


The breeding season falls during the rainy season, the females dig nests and, as a rule, lay from 20 to 60 eggs. They can lay eggs in abandoned termite mounds. The incubation of eggs takes from five to six months. Newborn lizards are characterized by complete independence, as well as intensive growth in the first 2 months of life. Parents do not care about their offspring.

Species and people

Because of the beautiful skin, Cape monitor lizards were intensively destroyed, especially in the 70-80 years of the twentieth century. In recent years, steppe monitor lizards have become very popular exotic pets, while previously they were treated exclusively as a source of meat, eggs and valuable skin.

Interesting Facts

Cape monitor lizards, in comparison with other species, get along well with people and are amenable to rapid socialization, but you should not lose your vigilance: at the slightest fright, they begin to hiss, swell up and are ready to strike or bite.

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