Saturday, November 17, 2012

Of skinks, goannas and lizards

Australia has a number of Goannas some of which live in suburbia.  A couple of days ago I photographed a ‘Bobtail’ goanna in my back yard.  The Bobtail has a long list of alternative names and herpetologists claim it has more names than any other lizard.  It has a blue tongue and one of its many names is Bluetongue lizard.  It is quite a slow moving lizard and its most popular dish is the snail; probably because that is easy for it to catch.  

Another Australia-wide goanna is the Sand Goanna, or in Western Australia, commonly called the racehorse goanna. Local aboriginals call it a Bungarra and that name is commonly used in W.A.   It is called a racehorse for its speed over short distances.  It runs up trees when threatened and when I was quite young my uncles and grandparents always warned me not to stand still in open fields in case a Racehorse goanna was nearby and decided to scoot up me thinking that I was a small tree.   Methinks a country myth.

         Racehorse goannas can grow to over 1 metre in length.

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