Silver Monitor Lizard
The largest lizard of the fauna of Central Asia and the only representative of the monitor lizard family. The species is listed in the International Red Book and the Red Book of Uzbekistan. In length, the animal reaches 160 cm along with the tail, weighing up to 2.5 kg or more. The grey monitor lizard is widely distributed in North Africa and South-West Asia, the subspecies Varanus griseus caspius lives in the republics of Central Asia and Southern Kazakhstan. It lives in sandy deserts, adhering to more or less fixed sands, but it is also found in rocky foothills, in tugai forests and at cliffs along the banks of rivers. Monitor lizards climb low trees and shrubs and can jump from a height of up to half a meter. When meeting a person, the monitor lizard greatly inflates the body, which makes it become wide and flat, hisses loudly, sticks out its tongue and, opening its mouth wide, tries to bite. He whips his tail right and left with force, not allowing himself to be taken in hand. Its bites are quite painful, and large lizards are able to bite a person's finger. It feeds on a variety of animal food - it eats insects, scorpions, phalanges, lizards, snakes (including poisonous ones), young turtles, birds, rodents, and in the spring also eats bird and turtle eggs. Gray monitor lizards reach sexual maturity in the third year of life. In Central Asia, monitor lizards mate in May. The female lays from 6 to 23 eggs in June—early July.