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Monitors
Varanus griseus Print E-mail
ImageVaranus griseus is one of the most widespread monitor lizards. It has an enormous range, occurring from the Sahara Desert through the Arabian Peninsula and the deserts of central Asia as far east as northern India. Within this massive area three subspecies are currently recognised, which will be discussed separately.
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Monitors and Mankind Print E-mail
ImageOur relationship with monitor lizards stretches back over 90,000,000 years. For almost all of this time they have been the predators and we the prey. The first documented cases of predation on monitor lizards by humans date back about 40,000 years (King 1962). Today mankind's relationship with the monitors  is a complex one. They are undoubtedly the most important of the lizards to the human race.
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The History of Monitor Lizards Print E-mail

 

As the monitors spread across the Earth experiencing different habitats and climates they diversified. Over many millions of years this process has resulted in the emergence of at least seventy or eighty (probably many thousands of) species. Some of them appeared to have died out quickly, whilst other, apparently ancient, species have survived until the present.

 

Image
Megalania prisca by Iain Curran, 1995

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Bibliography of Monitor Lizards Print E-mail

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Bibliography of Monitor Lizards

Extract from A Little Book of Monitor Lizards © D. Bennett 1995. Viper Press, UK

New Library site here>

English translations of papers marked # are available here >>

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The mampam website has been running for 25 years and aims to provide full details of projects at no charge. All out of print books and multimedia guides are provided here and full image archives are being developed for each project. This will complete the website's mission.

 

 
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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Background and History
butaan2.jpgThe butaan was first described to science in 1845 from a juvenile specimen collected by Hugh Cuming. It was labelled only "Philippines". It was named Varanus grayi.  No other specimens came to light for over 120 years. In the 1970s Walter Auffenberg found another specimen with a location in Luzon, established that its correct scientific name was Varanus olivaceus, and undertook a 22 month study of the species based in Bicol. His study revealed that butaan occupy a unique ecological niche and have a lifestyle quite unlike any other monitor lizard. Auffenberg used local hunters with dogs to catch the animals. Of 126 butaan caught during his study, 116 animals were killed.
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