Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tegu or not tegu?

Now this is an interesting and clever little monster. The black & white tegu or gold tegu (it lives up to both these names bizarrely), Tupinambis teguixin, is a fabulous lizard of central and southern america.

As you can see there is a hint of the monitor lizard about the head of these guys and they fulfill very similar generalist carnivore roles to a number of monitor species.


I think there is a hint of recognition in those eyes and there is no doubt these guys are good at finding food. They are particularly hard on spectacled caiman nests and act as one of the main population controls on the species' reproductive successes. The animal below was prowling the water's edge and periodically tasting the air and I'd imagine this behaviour has resulted in a lot of eaten crocodillian eggs over the years.


Although rather pretty when freshly shed like this one they tend to be more faded and dusty looking like an old cowboy in a bad western - rather befitting an animal that wanders the plains looking for a meal wherever it can find it.


Sally said...

Very nice! Great looking lizard... what is he, about a meter long?

tai haku said...

Yeah - I'd guess about that Sally; one of those things that is pretty big but looks more in scale in its natural environment than a vivarium y'know.