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Gila monster

By MSA 2005 Map showing deserts habitats in southwestern United States, Mexico


Class Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Helodermatidae
Genus and species: Heloderma suspectum

One of only two venomous lizards, the gila monster injects its venom through large, grooved teeth in its powerful, lower jaw. This venom is used to paralyze small prey such as birds, lizards, eggs, frogs, and insects.

Gila monsters are black with pink or orange banding. They spend most of their time underground. For the three months that gila monsters are above ground, they mate and eat enough to last the rest of the year.

Females lay two to 12 eggs at a time. They are buried underground and hatch after ten months.

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