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Monitor: Rock

Find, identify & discuss the marine species of SANParks
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Arie
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Unread postby Arie » Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:05 pm

Hi,
Looking at head, tail and habitat, I would say Rock Monitor (also known as Tree or Savanna Monitor).
Water monitor (or Nile Monitor) will normally stay close to water. Rock monitors on the other hand can be found anywhere. I have seen rock monitors far away from water, in trees, and also in camps, especially in Shingwedzi.
Rock monitors have a more rounded head ('swollen' nose) whereas water monitors have a more flattened head.

Rock monitor
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Water monitor (juvenile, black/yellow)
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The tail of your (rock) monitor, although not clearly visible, looks more or less the same size as the body of the reptile. The tail of the water monitor is much longer than the body.

Rock monitors eat mostly large insects and millipedes but will also take other reptiles (lizards and even small tortoises). Be careful !!! They can bite really hard.

Hope you do agree.

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Imberbe
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Unread postby Imberbe » Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:51 pm

Arie is correct! It is the Rock Monitor :D

They are beautiful beasts! Lots of personality, and can get quite tame!

They have an incredible ability to climb trees! They wil scamper up a tree at the first sign of danger. Long nails!!!

Their tails is also quite interesting! It is long and muscular, and they use it as a weapon to hit an would be atacker. They actually carry it in the air while walking, and do not drag it behind.

Once saw a Rock Monitor which had been caught by a Martial Eagle! He lost the fight!
:cry:
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richardharris
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Unread postby richardharris » Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:50 am

My fairly old books call them leguaan - when did the name change? Monitor fits in with similar naming elsewhere in the world.

Can get very large. Quite amusing gait if you see one running down a road!

Richard

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Unread postby Pilane » Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:08 pm

Rock monitor

There was no name change:

In South Africa, monitors are often referred to as "leguaans" which is probably a corruption of the word "Iguana" - a family of spine-crested, vegetarian lizards to which they are not closely related. Similarly, the Australians sometimes refer to monitors as "goannas". Interestingly, the name "monitor" may also be a case of mistaken identity: common in Egypt, they became known by the general Arabic term for lizards, ouaran. Pronounced waran, this was apparently confused by German naturalists for warnen, which was interpreted as "warning lizards". This was then Latinized to Varanus (the genus). Monitor came from this and has given rise to some authors attempting to explain the name by the lizard's alleged habit of keeping a look out, or giving warning of the presence of crocodiles! (Which is a myth of course)

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Arie
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Unread postby Arie » Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:38 am

If the word 'leguaans' is Afrikaans (although I believe that 'likkewaan' is a more common word in Afrikaans) it probably comes from the Dutch word 'leguaan'. In Dutch the name is correctly used for the species of the order Iguania. The Dutch name for monitors is 'varaan', from the name of the genus Varanus, as Pilane just explained.

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Unread postby Snoobab » Wed Oct 26, 2005 9:18 am

There is one that roams around the camping area at Shingwedzi. One of their favourite meals is bird eggs and that is why if you see one in the open it will often be mobbed by birds.

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Unread postby leopardspotter » Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:37 pm

Lovely pic's Madach :)
I saw about 4 of them during our recent stay at Shingwedzi. There was an old one with only half it's tail, weird looking because the others had very long muscular tails as long as their bodies. He climbed up a tree and into a hollow, nice and comfortably with his head a front claws hanging out :) . In about 3 hour the rain started to pour and thunderstorm was starting. It rained all night long...

I wonder if this Rock Monitor sensed the rains and decided to get up to higher ground (?) :hmz:

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Monitor Lizard

Unread postby marioE » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:45 am

On our recent trip to Lower Sabie, we had "monty" (as we named him), literally come up within 20cm of my camera as we were setting up camp.
They are usually so suspect of everything and run away at the slightest movement, that is why we were so taken back with this guy\gal.
Has this ever happened to anyone else? :P

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Last edited by Elsa on Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: pics resized.

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Unread postby Wild about cats » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:56 am

Wow, thats pretty strange :)
Nice pics!!!
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Unread postby wilmaw » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:59 pm

Friends had one come virtually up to them at Afsaal day after Christmas 06.

Personally, I am confused. Have seen monitors in KNP a few times. Now I'm having trouble distinguishing between water and rock monitors. Usually they disappear quickly so I ID them by where I see them.

Saw this one at a low water bridge so obviously (?) must be a water monitor:
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But then last Sunday, saw the one below far from water and to me, it looks the same as the one in the pic above. I suppose it could have been near water as the bush is full of water at present, but it was snoozing in a tree... do water monitors do that?

Image

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Unread postby Wild about cats » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:38 pm

I have only known rock monitors to do that.
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Unread postby Wild about cats » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:31 am

At Satara camp Dec 06-Jan07
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Rock monitor

Unread postby Richprins » Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:16 pm

Summer 2000

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(Pic courtesy of J Myburgh)

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Re: Rock Monitor

Unread postby AFRICAT » Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:37 pm

Can someone please tell me if these monitors eat bats or their babies? I saw one on the bat house at Letaba and wondered if he'd found a way to get to them. I don't see that listed as a food source on this thread, so probably just sunning? Thanks.

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Imberbe
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Re: Rock Monitor

Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:54 pm

They will eat anything. They are not choosy at all! Small birds, lizards, insects and yes ... if the opportunity is there ... bats and other small mammals!

They can climb extremely well. I have seen one running up in to a tree when we frightened it, while walking in the bush. They have long and strong nails.
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


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