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Mertens’ Water Monitor

Varanus mertensi

Amphibious life

Mertens’ Water Monitors are rarely seen far from water and are often found climbing on rocks or trees or basking on branches overhanging rivers, creeks and billabongs. This amphibious lizard can remain underwater for several minutes with the help of a special nostril valve that shuts tightly when the monitor submerges.

Meat Lover

Mertens’ Water Monitors are carnivores, preferring fish, frogs and small mammals but will also eat insects, lizards and carrion. These monitors have a very good sense of smell and often dig up prey when foraging for food.

Vulnerable species

The introduced Cane Toad is a major threat to the Mertens’ Water Monitor, as they compete for food sources. Monitors also eat Cane Toads but can die when they ingest the toxins in the toad’s skin.

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