Reptiles of the World: Nile Monitor

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Varanus niloticus

rw-089-NileMonitorThe Nile Monitor ranges from Senegal to Somalia and from Egypt to South Africa. Only the true desert and some large forests are inhabited by other species. It is a large form exceeding 6 feet in length and extremely common in some savanna localities and along river courses. Like many other monitors it is an excellent swimmer, moving by lateral undulation with the limbs pressed against the sides of the body.

These monitors feed on a variety of small mammals, snakes, and lizards, but their most spectacular prey is the Nile Crocodile. They are well-known nest-robbers, searching out the river banks and digging out crocodile egg pockets as well as preying on the hatchlings.