Fun Savannah Monitor Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 13, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Savannah Monitor facts are about a robust reptile that is native to Africa.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.9 Min

The Savannah Monitor is a reptile that is native to Africa, they are very common and widespread. They are fond of basking and hunting, the only two priorities of their life.

A common Savannah Monitor habitat mainly includes savannahs and grasslands, and they prey on small insects and mammals. The Savannah Monitor growth rate is very rapid and it gains maturity at the age of two years.

They can change their skin color according to the substrate, known as the ability to camouflage. A male Savannah Monitor is comparatively bigger than a female, and the base of their tail has a distinctive hemipenes bulge which may help you distinguish between your monitors.

They are considered to be tameable. However, to tame a Savannah Monitor, perseverance is necessary as grabbing and expecting them to not bite is not possible.

Handling and approaching slowly is recommended. Humans hunt them for the pet trade, leather, and for some other commercial purposes.

A Savannah monitor makes a good pet, and these days they are very common pets. But caring for them and providing them with their diet and habitat is of utmost importance.

A Savannah Monitor enclosure should have proper lighting, enough space for them to roam around, space for basking, and the humidity should be checked. A Savannah Monitor's price is $20 or more depending on their quality.

To know more about these fascinating animals, we have gathered a set of interesting facts about them for you to read. You can also read up more articles on a sand lizard and caiman lizard.

Savannah Monitor Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Savannah Monitor?

Savannah Monitors are a type of lizard that belongs to the family of Varanidae and are mainly found in Savannahs.

What class of animal does a Savannah Monitor belong to?

Savannah Monitors belong to the class of reptiles, which is also known as Reptilia in scientific terms.

How many Savannah Monitors are there in the world?

There's no such exact number as to how many Savannah Monitors exist in the world.

Where does a Savannah Monitor live?

The Savannah Monitor or the Varanus exanthematicus lives in the savannah or grasslands. Savannah Monitors are native to Africa specifically, the east of Senegal and Sudan, which is complete sub-Saharan Africa and south of it, up until the Rift Valley and the Congo River.

What is a Savannah Monitor's habitat?

As their name suggests, Savannah Monitors are found in savannahs or grasslands. They are also found in semi-desert regions, woodlands, open forests, and rocky regions.

Savannah Monitor lizards are found throughout Africa and especially the Sahara desert. These large monitor lizards are skilled at digging, so they prefer to dwell in burrows made on the ground and places with high humidity.

The humidity prevents dehydration and helps them in shedding their skin. A Savannah Monitor is excellent at climbing and hanging; thus, it can also be found in trees' low branches and in bushes.

Who do Savannah Monitors live with?

Savannah Monitors are solitary reptiles, and so they live on their own. They cannot be grouped; two males especially are a complete disaster. Rather it would be way better to house a female and a male or two females together in case of grouping. They are not social, and so they prefer being alone.

How long does a Savannah Monitor live?

A Savannah Monitor lifespan is fairly long. They live for around 8-15 years, depending on the habitat.

How do they reproduce?

Savannah Monitors' mating begins with courtship rituals indicated by the males as they nod their heads, scratch, and bite the legs and neck of the females occasionally. When a male encounters or comes across a female, he chases her until she surrenders.

Generally, their breeding season is in the wet season. It takes around four weeks for the female to lay its eggs after mating. Their clutch size is 10-50 eggs at a time.

The female Savannah monitor uses its excellent digging skills to dig a hole in the substrate about 5-11 in deep where she lays her eggs. They may also lay their eggs in some termites' mounds.

Subsequently, these eggs take 155-160 days or five to six months to hatch, and during incubation, the Savannah Monitor temperature has to be between 84-86 F. After around two to four weeks, the yolk sac gets absorbed, and the hatchlings or the juvenile Savannah Monitors start catching and eating their food.

The hatchlings are around 4.7 in (12 cm) long. These juvenile Savannah monitors become sexually matured at the age of two to three years.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, they have been listed as Least Concern.

Savannah Monitor Fun Facts

What do Savannah Monitors look like?

An adult Savannah Monitor lizard is a stoutly built thick lizard that is tan gray with its head being slightly yellow. They have symmetrical circular dark yellow edgy spots and markings on their back, anterior tail, sides, and the head, which usually has lighter spots.

Their tail is tapering; the tail interestingly also features a double-toothed ridge and symmetrical alternating brown and yellow loops, which look quite catchy.

They have a wide head that is comparatively larger than the body, a small neck, eyes, and snout which are equidistant from their nostrils, and they are white-throated lizards.

They have a branched and blue tongue, which is quite identical to that of a snake. The inner side of their limbs and belly includes a gradient of colors such as yellow, gray, and brown.

The full-grown Savannah Monitor lizards have strong jaws which render excellent support with a blunt set of teeth which helps them gnaw and crumple the shells of beetles and snails. Whereas the young ones do not have teeth.

They can camouflage. They can easily change their skin color according to the color of the substrate, which helps them escape from their predators. Their skin type features scales, and they generally have less than a hundred scales on their mid-body.

All about the characteristics and habitat of the Savannah Monitor.

How cute are they?

Although these lizards are solitary, they are docile and fascinating. Generally, reptiles are considered not cute, but a Savannah Monitor lizard is here to break these stereotypes. They make perfectly cute pets as they love basking, snuggling, swimming, and many other things that you couldn't expect them to.

How do they communicate?

A Savannah Monitor, Varanus exanthematicus, uses chemical, physical, and auditory channels to communicate and convey messages. For instance, if a predator is approaching these lizards, they hiss very loudly, which comes under the auditory channel and lash their tails which refers to a physical channel.

Lastly, if all of this does not turn to be useful, they are apt to play dead or excrete from their bodies a very repugnant smelling fecal substance that comes under a chemical channel.

Male lizards are very territorial. They alarm and frighten other male lizards with hisses, inflate their throats, and lash their tails.

How big is a Savannah Monitor?

The Savannah Monitor size may vary accordingly, but generally, they are medium-sized reptiles. Their length can range from 42-60 in (105-155 cm), but some lizards may exceed this average range and can get up to 72 in long. They generally weigh around 5 lb, but some individuals can exceed up to 13 lb at times.

How fast can a Savannah Monitor run?

The Savannah Monitor lizard is known for its quickness; it can escape rapidly despite being long and big. They have very strong limbs; especially incredibly strong leg muscles. But unfortunately, there is no such calculated speed or even an estimated calculation of how fast they run.

How much does a Savannah Monitor weigh?

On average, a Savannah Monitor lizard weighs 5 lb, but this can go up to 13 lb in some cases. So their weight may range from 5-13 lb (2-5 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

In terms of gender, there are no such distinctive names of their species. So they are collectively called Savannah Monitor lizard or even Bosc's Monitor in some places as the scientist Louis Bosc discovered it for the first time. In scientific terms, they are referred to as Varanus exanthematicus.

What would you call a baby Savannah Monitor?

Savannah Monitor babies do not have any specific names, but they may be referred to as neonate, hatchling, or juvenile lizards.

What do they eat?

A Savannah Monitor lizard is a carnivore. They have their very own diet, called 'feast and fast', which refers to a system where they feast at the onset of and throughout the wet season when food is easily available in abundance.

This feast is around eight months long. During the wet season, they tend to devour around one-tenth of their body weight daily.

Mainly they prey on and feed on small mammals, birds, scorpions, millipedes, snakes, crickets, beetles, snails, lizards, and eggs. At the onset of the dry season, they are dependent on fat reserves that they gathered during the feast or the wet season.

A Savannah Monitor spends the maximum part of their day basking in the sun and hunting for food as they are diurnal, which means they forage during the day. In a nutshell, Savannah Monitor food mainly consists of insects and a few mammals.

For a pet Savannah Monitor, feeding them with food that has low-fat content, like egg whites and egg beaters is a good idea. They can also be given insects and small mammals such as cockroaches, silkworms, crickets, and crayfish.

They can also be given rats at times. However, a Savannah Monitor eating rats can be prone to obesity. Their diet should contain a supplement of calcium gluconate or calcium carbonate once a week, but they should have access to proper light to absorb dietary calcium light is needed.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, they are dangerous because a Savannah Monitor bite is venomous, but the venom they release is not fatal for humans. That is, they cannot kill you, but they might bite you and cause a bacterial infection.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, Savannah Monitor pets are very docile and friendly. However, checking all their requirements from their habitat to their diet is important in order to keep them healthy and ensure a long life for your pet.

Did you know...

A Savannah Monitor flicks its tongue, which is forked, to taste the air, and this helps them while foraging and also helps them to find themselves a mate.

A Savannah Monitor does not stalk and ambush; rather, it implements open pursuit hunting.

Their very interesting feature is adjusting their hyoid bone to gulp large chunks of their food by maximizing their throat.

A Savannah Monitor can breathe even while its throat is full of food.

How are a Savannah Monitor's teeth adapted?

A Savannah Monitor has evolved its peg-like teeth to provide support while crushing the shells of its prey. The teeth located at the back of the jaw render support. This adaptation has helped them evolve and survive.

Are Savannah Monitors territorial?

Yes, Savannah Monitors are extremely territorial. Males are especially intimidating and aggressive as they will defend their territory against all odds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles, including lava lizard or frilled lizard.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Savannah Monitor coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

Yashvee Patel picture

Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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