Animals > Lizard > Large Lizards

Large Lizards

Jamaican Iguana
Jamaican Iguana

This list does not promise to be a comprehensive guide to pet care.  You can treat this just an introduction to creatures one commonly keeps as pets, including some information about their availability.  Before you choose any lizard type as pets, you have to do a complete research on their care requirements.  You have to give a lot of consideration before, not after you purchase your pets. 

The monitor lizard family can boast of the world’s largest lizards.  All monitor lizards are not necessarily good pets.  The Komodo dragon is the largest monitor lizard in the world.  The lizard can grow as long as 10 feet and often can attain weights up to 330 pounds. Before you jump to the conclusion that they make good Economy Sized pets,  consider this.  The saliva of the Komodo dragon can contain up to 50 bacteria strains and more often than not, their bites cause blood poisoning.  The Crocodile lizard, a distinguished member of the monitor family, grows even longer than the Komodo dragon, often reaching 13 feet in length.  The tail accounts for a major portion of its length.      Because of their massive size and very obstinate nature, they do not often  live up to your  ideas of ideal pets.

Monitor lizards are very special.  They appear to be far more intelligent than any other reptile species; they surpass even some mammals.  These reptiles are curious, intelligent and amiable. Working with them can be wonderful.  They seem to seek our affection and attention, traits that we find in dogs. You have to do a lot of homework before you go for a monitor lizard as a pet.  You must possess enough knowledge, money, space  and time before bringing home one of these amiable giants as large lizards pets.

Savannah Monitor

Savannah Monitor
Savannah Monitor

Many consider the Savannah Monitors to be the most docile creatures among large lizards.  In captivity, these lizards appear  tame as well as intelligent,  and they adapt well to daily schedules or routines. The savannah lizard is, at best an entry level pet monitor. You should not consider them as entry level pet lizards since these monitors grow up to 4 feet.  The cage requirement is at least double their body-size.  You have to strictly maintain levels of heat and humidity.  Savannah Monitors are carnivores.  In captivity, mice or rats comprise a part of their diet.  For those who have experience with smaller lizards, and have space for large enclosures, Savannah Monitors could be excellent pets.    

Nile Monitor

Nile Monitor
Nile Monitor

These monitor lizards are not  definitely pets for beginners. These reptiles require experienced keepers having special attributes required for handling  large lizards. Many claim that these lizards are aggressive.  If you  handle them properly, these intelligent creatures make excellent pets.   On an average, they grow to around 5 feet in length.  Some even grow up to 8 feet.  They need an enclosure of at least twice their body length.  Keep the enclosure at least  8 feet high since they love climbing.   For  swimming,  they need water bodies,  large enough  to accommodate them. Some owners of Nile monitors even allocate small bedrooms for their pets.  These lizards are carnivores and they need a lot of small creatures in their diet.

Water Monitor

Water Monitor
Water Monitor

Water monitors  stand second only to Komodo dragons in the basic matter of size.  These lizards can grow up to 10 feet and often weigh up to 100 pounds.  When compared to Nile monitors, they are less aggressive but their sheer size and space requirements prove daunting to most except experienced keepers.  If you really plan to keep water monitors as pets,  you can plan ahead for an enclosure that has the size of a bedroom.  Their daily diet should  include fish and rodents.  With patience and frequent handling, water monitors can become tame, amiable, pets.

Green Iguana

Green Iguana
Green Iguana

According  to the authorities of the zoo in San Diego,  Iguanas are the largest in size among the lizards in American territory.  The green iguanas are the most common pets in  the  iguana family.  Green Iguanas are  vegetarians. Submissive and blessed with high intelligence, they are the most popular entry-level choice for large lizard new keepers. Still, you may have to give them more care than you you would give your pet mammals.  These docile giants usually reach lengths nearing 6 feet. These lizards are arboreal. So you must make provision in the iguana’s enclosure for climbing and crawling.  Apart from lettuce, you must feed them a varied diet of grains, fruits and vegetables.

Green Anole

Green Anole
Green Anole

Green Anole is very common as a pet.  It is also inexpensive to buy.  This certainly does not make it a cheap pet.  Expensive lighting and controlled environment contribute to  care requirements that cost many  times more than the purchase price of the Green Anole.  The Green Anole is definitely pretty.  These delicate creatures undergo stress easily and you should take a lot of care   They are carnivores. They need insect feedings on a daily basis as juveniles and every alternate day as adults.  Once you have a proper setup, you can keep the Green Anole happy.  Their elaborate care requirements and erratic nature certainly do not  make them “cheap Pets. Considering the above mentioned facts,  you have to think twice before picking up this pet on the basis of price.

The lifespan of the Green Anole is 3 to 5 years.  The average size is 5 to 8 inches. The minimum cage size for an adult is one 10 to 20 Gallon Tank or its equivalent.

Advantages: Green Anoles are certainly inexpensive, easy to find and small in size.

Disadvantages:  The setup cost is certainly high.  Moreover, the creatures stress easily.

The Ackie (Varanus Acanthurus)

The Ackie
The Ackie

The Ackie can claim to be the best pet among monitor lizards.  These lizards are small by monitor standards.  They certainly have advantages over  other monitor lizards.  On an average, they grow up to 3 or 4 feet. They either have yellow or red coloration.  There is actually no difference between the reds and the yellows except the price.  In spite of all this, the Ackie is still rarely available in pet shops.  The indications are that they are quickly becoming popular. The Ackie has very good temperament as well as easy care requirements.

Blackthroat Monitors (Ionides Monitors)

Blackthroat Monitor
Blackthroat Monitor

Black Throat Monitors are definitely larger than Ackies.  They make excellent pets because of their temperament.  Blackthroats can grow to lengths of 6 feet.  Anyone who is short on space simply cannot afford to keep them as pets.  These lizards can be quite trusting and keepers treasure them as pets.  Blackthroats are very docile and are monitors that you can easily care for.  Their size commands respect.

Whitethroat Monitors & Peachthroat Monitors

Whitethroat Monitor
Whitethroat Monitor

Whitethroat and Peachthroat monitors are very much like Blackthroat monitors in nature and care. They are comparatively more shy and so take some more time to settle down. Keeping these pets is nonetheless very rewarding. They do make very nice pets. 

Water Monitors (Varanus Salvator)

Water Monitor
Water Monitor - Varanus Salvator

Water Monitors are huge lizards.  That is saying a lot in the monitor family that boasts of some large members.  They are one of the largest species you can keep as pets.  They often reach lengths of 7 to 8 feet and can weigh as much as 70 pounds.  No doubt they are massive. For those who   have done enough research and have the space, Water Monitors make surprisingly good pets.  They  are  wonderfully  intelligent, curious and interact very well with their keepers.  They tame quite easily.  For reptiles of this size, they are, astonishingly gentle and timid creatures.  You can consider keeping the creatures as pets, if you can afford the  money, time and space

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