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Gila Monster behavior

One of only two species of venomous lizards, the beautiful Gila Monster an extremely effective defense mechanism.

Gila Monsters hide in the shade by day, under rocks or in burrows, which they dig or take over from other animals. During the winter, the Gila Monster does not have to eat; rather, it lives off the fat it has stored in its tail during the warmer months. When food is available, a Gila Monster can eat a third of its weight in one sitting. There are theories suggesting that because of the Gila Monster's fat storage system, it may consume enough energy for the year in three or four of these very large meals. If it feels threatened, the Gila Monster will bite its perceived aggressor. They have a locking bite and are very difficult to remove. In addition, the Gila Monster is venomous! This proves deadly to most animals, although rarely would the poison kill a healthy human adult, being envenomated by a Gila Monster will cause significant tissue damage and is reportedly extremely painful. Gila Monster will only bite when provoked; as a rule, they tend to be quite sluggish. These lizards are most active early in the morning. They do not like to leave their burrows frequently and will remain in their homes all winter. Gila Monsters live about 20 years on average. Although they are usually solitary and have home territories of about one square mile, Gila Monsters will congregate in common areas for mating in the spring.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gila_Monster".
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