Nile Monitor Lizards
Hello from the Everglades, fellow adventurers! We’re glad you stopped by today to check out the latest happenings along the winding, swampy paths we follow at Everglades Adventure. We have a lot going on with our day long tours that take nature enthusiasts both young and old on a journey of a lifetime. We travel through all the ecosystems of these magnificent Everglades, starting with a nature cruise through Estero Bay’s estuaries, followed by an enjoyable bus tour to the Everglades where we hop aboard an airboat for a thrilling ride through the sawgrass prairies and palm hammocks which surround the stunning Big Cypress National Preserve and our beloved Everglades National Park.
We see a lot of spectacular, colorful, breathtaking and slimy creatures as we travel through the swamps here. Perhaps one of the most audacious creatures we come across in our wetlands hotspot in southern Florida is the Nile Monitor Lizard. This Old World lizard is native to Northern Africa and has invaded upon the New World. Similar to a Komodo dragon, these reach up to 8 and even 10 feet in length and are invasive to our area along with several other counties in Florida. These omnivores eat anything that comes into their path and will take for their meal local wildlife including endangered animals and plants, such as freshwater and box turtles, endangered gopher tortoises, ground nesting birds and endangered burrowing owls and their eggs.
These creatures are particularly intelligent and they often hunt in packs. 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 lizards’ weapons include their sharp, snake-like teeth, long, muscular tails which they use as whips, and claws that look like the sinister pendants of voodoo necklaces. They can run up to 18 miles per hour on land and swim underwater for up to an hour at a time. Females lay from 6 to 60 eggs during the springtime mating season. These poorly dispositioned creatures live an average of 12 years.
Come on down, we’re here to treat you to an adventure of a lifetime, and potentially spot a Nile Monitor Lizard and as always- we promise to keep you safe while thrilling your senses!