Sunday, December 11, 2005

Malayan Water Monitor Lizard Varanus salvator @ Sungei Ulu Pandan by Kevin

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Spotted 2005 December 10th 15:41. This is beside the jogging trail in sunset way. Was staring at a piece debris trying to think if its a Malayan Box Terrapin when a dark shape loomed into my field of view and I quickly snapped a few off focus shots. My mind was racing wildly even though they are pretty common. But this was the first time I was soooo close to one! They are usually very secretive jumping into the water if spotted. This one was caught by surprised by a surprised me hahaha. I even managed two shots of it swimming in its undulating fashion that was so graceful. You can tell its a powerful swimmer because it was just effortlessly fighting the strong current. It looked like it was almost 1.5m When it saw me it just sank underwater. DARN! Apparently they can remain underwater for up to 30 mins. I circled the area abit and about 5 mins later, it popped its head up again! It was kinda freaky using a telephoto lens to zoom in on its head. It seemed to be measuring me up. Meal or bothersome ape? Oh by the way they actually have brown eyes! That's something I didn't know. I do know that they will eat anything they can swallow and they are particularly fond of carrion. There's abundant armoured sucker catfishes, tilapia there and lots of herons. Never seen it try to attack a heron but apparently they run very fast with their powerful leg muscles. But herons do eat youg monitor lizards. Of course they are prey to humans, even in Singapore. About 12 years ago, I saw a bunch of people setting up traps in west coast park for monitor lizards, and I know of 2 who actually tasted lizard meat before. Heh that's years ago though.


Malayan water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator): info fact sheet, photos

Wildlife Singapore

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