Marine Wildlife Encyclopedia
Water Monitor Varanus salvator
An opportunistic predator with a wide-ranging diet, this is one of the largest lizards that regularly ventures into salt water. It has a long neck, strong legs, and a flattened tail, which lashes from side to side when it swims. It feeds on anything it can overpower, diving to catch prey in the shallows or running it down onshore. Like other monitors, it also feeds on carrion. In some places, it can often be seen on the outskirts of coastal villages, where it scavenges on discarded remains. Water monitors breed by laying eggs, which the female places at the end of a burrow.