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Varanus niloticus

The Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) is not only Africa’s largest lizard but also one of the continent’s most voracious predators. Stout-bodied and powerful, this formidable reptile has an elongated snake-like head, sharp claws, and a long, compressed tail which it uses to great effect when under threat. The tough, beady skin of the adult is greyish-brown with regular yellow spots arranged in distinctive bands down the head, body and tail. The colour patterning of juveniles is more vibrant, with dark black skin covered in bright yellow spots and blotches.

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