The Bengal Monitor, also known as the Common Indian Monitor, is a large reptile found in many parts of South Asia, including India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It is a member of the monitor lizard family, which is known for its predatory abilities and is widely regarded as one of the most intelligent reptiles.
|Name||Bengal Monitor lizard|
|Scientific Name||Varanus bengalensis|
|Colour||Brownish-gray with yellowish bands|
|Length||Up to 6 feet|
|Habitat||Forests, grasslands, agricultural fields|
|Food habits||Carnivorous, feeding on insects, rodents, small mammals, birds, eggs, and carrion|
|IUCN status||Least Concern|
Bengal Monitors are characterized by their long, muscular body, which can grow up to six feet in length, making it one of the largest lizards in South Asia. They are usually brown or grey in colour, with a yellowish throat and black and white spots covering their body. They can weigh up to 20 kgs, and their speed is estimated to be around 30 km/h.
The Bengal Monitor is found in a wide range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and rocky areas. They are also known to live in human settlements and are often found near rivers and streams. They are widely distributed in the Indian subcontinent, including the states of West Bengal, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
How they hunt and food habits
Bengal Monitors are opportunistic predators and are known to feed on a variety of prey, including insects, rodents, birds, and small mammals. They are also known to scavenge and will feed on carrion if necessary. They are known for their powerful jaws, which they use to crush their prey before swallowing it whole. They have excellent eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell, which allows them to locate prey easily.
Importance to ecosystem
Bengal Monitors play an essential role in the ecosystem as they help control the population of small mammals and insects. They also serve as prey for larger predators such as tigers and leopards, making them an essential part of the food chain.
The Bengal Monitor is listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), indicating that it is not currently at risk of extinction. However, the species is threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation and conversion of forests into agricultural land.
The Bengal Monitor is an impressive lizard with a wide distribution in South Asia. It plays an essential role in the ecosystem by controlling the population of small mammals and insects and serving as prey for larger predators. Although it is not currently at risk of extinction, efforts should be made to conserve its habitat to ensure its survival in the future.