Bearded dragon pet lizard
Miscellaneous Lizard Observations

Below are some miscellaneous, and entertaining, notes and observations about lizards. Subjects range from reptile market prices to lizard intelligence.

water monitor (varanus salvator)

Monitor lizard intelligence

I took a picture of this Water monitor (Varanus salvator) at GBU Enterprises in Lodi, California. Look into his eyeswhat do you see? What you see is exactly what is echoed by monitor experts in Nova's "Lizard Kings" (read my review of Lizard Kings).

He is looking back at you. You can see it in their eyes. Monitor lizards are intelligent reptilesas intelligent as many mammals if the "Lizard Kings" scientific findings are to be believed. Reminiscent of Jurrassic Park if you ask me.

Reptile market prices

In my experience, rarity, and rarity alone, is the sole price determinant of reptiles and amphibians. It's all supply and demand, just like what you graphed over and over in macroeconomics class.

Savannah monitors are a
perfect example of this concept. These lizards have a unique appearance, long lifespans, are extraordinarily resilient, can be bred regularly, have generally docile temperaments, and make impressive display animalsand yet they are $19.99 just about anywhere in the country. Why? Because the supply is virtually never ending. In fact, environmental studies have shown that their populations in Africa remain very strong despite heavy exportation (hundreds of thousands each year). If Savannah monitors were rare, they would be one of the most sought-after species in the hobby, and would have a price to match.

Savannah monitor: $20.00
Mangrove monitor: $200.00

My point: price rarely equates quality within the reptile market. It's unfortunate that many within the hobby turn their noses up at these types of species. What a shame.

elephant kills lizard

Monitor lizard killed by an . . . elephant

This monitor happened across the business end of an elephant's trunk. I have so many questions about what occurred prior to this photograph.

My first lizard breeding: the Indo-Pacific Gecko 

During my childhood days traveling to Captiva Island, Florida each Thanksgiving with my family, I caught quite a few Indo-pacific geckos (Hemidactylus garnotii) at night. Here's a picture of my doing so.

Anyways, the reason this is tongue-in-cheek is because Indo-pacific geckos are all females. They reproduce asexually via a process known as parthenogenesis, a fact I wasn't aware of until I did some research after finding some small, perfectly round eggs in my lizard cage.