Saturday, October 3, 2009

Malayan Water Monitor Lizard

While I was enjoying my experimentation on the Water Dam that looked like an ancient kingdom fortress, there was a water monitor quietly spending its time near the dam. It might be there for a long time which I did not know, but once my experiment was extended to closer to the dam, this five feet long lizard started to move away. It moved its clumsy body steadily away from the glassland and heading towards the other side of the wetland.

Actually, Water Monitor Lizards are no strangers to me. I used to see them along my jogging trail besides the bank of Prai River, in mangroves or swamps. They can remain underwater for up to half an hour. Malayan Water Monitors can survive in habitats that would not be able to support other large carnivores. Unlike most of us, they are not choosy on their foods. They eat anything that they can swallow, from tiny insects, to crabs, snakes, fish, even other monitor lizards, rubbish, human faeces, and dead bodies.

They look big, they look scary, but they are more afraid of me than I am of them. They usually move very fast to the bushes or into the water once I jog towards them. It is so funny to see them getting into such a fluster, although I may not see them for some time, but the sound of splashing water or rubbing sound against the bushes tell me the story.

This Monitor Lizard at Cerok Tokun climbed very well on the cement wall using its strong curved claws. Steadily it moved, and finally disappeared in the wetland.

The chasing after this giant lizard had distracted me from my experiment, but landed me onto another giant critter, a millipede.

This millipede seemed to have a relaxing bath in the down flow of water from the top of the dam. I do not know how it managed to stay still without being carried away by the water on the wet wall.


What a different discovery to show to you from MyJourney today.

25 comments:

Salitype said...

that water monitor lizard really looks scary....i would have run for my life if i ever saw one...LOL!

i am not very much into things that crawls and slithers on the ground but you made it looked like a very normal and friendly thing to watch..

i love how that millipede curls and hang on to the wall! very detailed, very vivid!

Tes said...

Monitor Lizard looks ferocious. I cannot remember seeing one before. It looks snobbish -teehee. You are lucky to experience all these critters. Good capture!

Happy Weekend, Rainy!

George said...

I'm glad the Monitor Lizard is more afraid of you than you are of him -- it looks big and ferocious. You got great pictures of it and the millipede.

Tabib said...

This Varanus salvator look fat, maybe just having its meal.

Icy BC said...

That water monitor lizard looks so big, and feisty! It's so good to know about their habitat and the foods they eat!

betchai said...

your journey always give you wonderful discovery, that millepede looks very unique, you have wonderful pictures of both the millipede and the lizard.

Ratty said...

This is a fun post for me. I don't get to see things like your water monitor lizard. I like to see the animals and places that are so different from my own home.

Mike said...

Living quite close it is obvious we share many common species. Personally I find monitors quite secretive and you did well to photograph it.

As for the millipede-unfortunately in the wet season we get quite a few in the house and for some reason I really dislike them.

rainfield61 said...

Salitype: When you start to run away, the lizard will run in another way too.

Tes: It is initially, but it won't look derocious after you have observed it for some time.

Happy Sunday.

George: It is a bonus to get its pictures when I approached the dam. It is rare to see a lizard ver here.

Tabib: It looks fat, it moves fast too.

Icy BC: This the bonus you have gained today. lol.

betchai: Our journey always give us surprise and wonderful discovery.

Ratty: That is why I felt so excited to discover this animal. This is truly Malaysia.

Mike: Yes, I have seen the monitor lizard in your another blog.

Bengbeng said...

there used to be one which lived opposite my house but it disappeared. probably run down by a car. it tastes like chicken when young but once it grows old, it gets tough the meat i mean. the critter comes over to steal chickens from my neighbour i guess

Mei Teng said...

That's one big monitor lizard. These creatures' saliva are contain patogens. Better watch out and don't get too near one. I almost came into close contact with one sometime last year. Thankfully, I backed away on time and that creature didn't attack me.

Ana said...

What an amazing looking water lizard. He looks so beautiful. I wish I was within your track. The millipede does look quite wet and such a beauty to find. I haven't seen one in quite some time. Your journey is always a pleasure to read and view. :)

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

I thought Dam is just for storing water... and you are giving us a glimpse of what is really in store other than water. I saw in documentary once about Salmon riding up the dam, flipping through the gushing water is to get to their ancestral breeding ground or breeding water rather.... You have salmon there too or something similar?
`BANGCHIK

rainfield61 said...

Bengbeng: I can find local hawker stalls selling delicious soup which cooks this lizard meat with Chinese medicine.
Chinese eats whatever can be eat...

Mei Teng: Hai!! You may be using some bags which are made by their skin. lol.

Ana: MyJourney will not be alone with the presence every one of you.

Bangchik and Kakdah: Yes. I have Salmon over here. They are canned Salmon.
By the way, I see many birds over here, my camera just fails to capture them.

Kirigalpoththa said...

We got those lizards over here.. We call them 'Kabaragoya'. They are good scavengers.

Ginnymo said...

Nice photos of that lizard! He does look a bit scary...but that millipede is scarier to me that the lizard..ha1

Autumn Belle said...

I saw a baby one in my garden a long time ago and wrote a post about it! I have also see them at our remote holiday resorts, inside the bedroom, under the bed or dashing across the room. Resort people say they are harmless but we cannot sleep until they changed room. Maybe I should know more about them and tolerated them if they are harmless. After all, human beings took away their homes when they build the resorts.

AVCr8teur said...

You did a good job spying on the skittish creature. Harmless or not, I do not fair well with such critters in my vicinity. :)

VanillaSeven said...

Wow! You really did it rainfield! Awesome! :D The first time I encountered monitor lizard, I freezed in panic. Almost looks like a small crocodile. Didn't know that they simply can eat anything.

Chay said...

They look scary to me, but good to know they are more scared of people and would run away when they hear sound.

Really interesting ! thanks for sharing.

Gallicissa said...

Being a generalist and able to swim narrow seas, Monitor Lizards are very good colonisers of new land. I have one turning up in my yard occasionally.

life ramblings said...

such lizards are nothing new to me. i've seen bigger one wandering aimlessly around my car porch. the saliva from the lizard's mouth contains a host of deadly bacteria. Once bitten, you're gone with the wind. so better be careful if you ever encountered one again.

yikes, the milipede looks gross.

rainfield61 said...

Kirigalpoththa: They are good scavengers to help us cleaning our environment. Am I right.

Ginnymo: Thi millipede can be measured up to half a foot. So huge.

Autumn Belle: Human not only took away their homes, but also those of other animals too.

AVCr8teur/VanillaSeven/Chay: It may not look scary for only one, I can't imagine if they come in a group.

Gallicissa: You can catch and cook them, they taste good. as many have said. lol.

life ramblings: Although the millipedes look gross, they are smashed flat on my hiking trail frequently.

The Retired One said...

Yikes..even the pictures scared me. I can't imagine seeing them in person in the wild.

Ayie said...

when i was a kid me and my brother would often see millipedes and we're so fond looking at them since it curls in whenever disturbed

it's good that monitor lizards don't attack you...i'll be pretty scared seeing one so near