[2015] Grayson Smith: Gila Monster

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by msanders308
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Zoology
Grade:
4

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[2015] Grayson Smith: Gila Monster

Gila Monster

HabitatThe Gila Monster mainly inhabits very warm areas, such as the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. They enjoy rocky regions for hiding and cilmbing purposes. Gila Monsters spend about 98% of their time in their burrows in order to stay cool. Gila Monster habitats are often surronded by cacti or trees such as the Palo Verde, or the Prickly Pear.

DietA Gila Monster will eat anything that is made up of meat, in other words it is a carnivore. The Gila's favorite food is eggs of another animals, but it also enjoys small mammals, small lizards, and frogs. The Gila is a top predator that is feared for it's venom.

Physical CharacteristicsThe Gila Monster is the largest lizard in the U.S. It's dark black body makes it difficult to spot when it's hiding, but it's beautiful colored scales that range from orange to pink to yellow can make it easy to spot when its basking in the sun. The beads on its back are designed to serve the purpose of sunscreen. A Gila can be up to 5 pounds and more than 2 feet long. The Gila lacks a lot of speed but it's venemous jaws make up for it.

PredatorsA Gila doesn't have many predators. It is feared by humans and is sometimes killed as soon as it is spotted. Another predator is the coyote or any ground dwelling animal looking for it's eggs.

Interesting FactsThe Gila Monster's saliva actually contains the main ingredient needed to cure type 2 dibetes. Some people think that this is only a myth that Native American tribes created, but it has been proven true by scientists. Some people may worry that since it's the only lizard in the U.S. with this ability, it may go extinct, but the Gila can live up to 30 years and it's not very close to being endangered. If food near the Gila is scarce, the Gila Monster can survive for quite a while on its tail fat.

Young GilasA Gila's life begins after it's mother lays her eggs. Gila egg clutches can have 2-15 eggs that are rough and leathery. Those eggs are buried in the ground. The mother will leave the burrow and the sun will warm the eggs. After 10 months the babies will hatch and climb out on their own. A Gila baby's coloring is much more vibrant than the mother's, but they are only 6 inches long.


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