Land Monitor Lizard (Varanus bengalensis) - Yala, Sri Lanka
Canon 500mm F4 L IS plus 1.4x Extender
Evaluative Metering -1/3
Text adapted from - www.flickr.com/photos/30277280@N04/3312922365/
There are two types of Monitor in Sri Lanka, the Water Monitor and Land Monitor. The Water Monitor can grow very large and is usually a dark green while the usually smaller Land Monitor is a brown colour. The Land Monitors are mainly found in the lowland dry zone of the Sri Lanka, but reaches elevations of ca. 500m. It is one of the most widely distributed of the living varanids. It inhabits a large range of habitats ranging from arid desert fringes to rainforests, but is most common in farmlands (particularly the coconut plantations) and dry, open forests. Land monitors spend the nights hiding away in burrows or holes in trees, where their body temperature decreases. The following morning they must raise their body temperatures by basking before commencing activity, hence they are rarely active early in the morning. Younger Land monitors frequent the vicinity of rivers, and adults are found in drier forest, scrublands and grasslands unlike the water monitors which do not usually venture far from the water. They are excellent climbers ascending vertical tree trunks with ease, and they are reported to be agile enough to stalk and capture even roosting bats. Despite their large size, these lizards get most of their nutrition from carrion and small prey feeding mainly on beetles, grubs, orthopterans, scorpions, snails, ants and other small invertebrates, which are consumed in enormous numbers.