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Varanus similis Print E-mail
Spotted tree goanna

Varanus similis  Mertens 1958

Differences between this goanna and V.scalaris have been outlined above. Bohme (1988) considered V.similis to be "probably a valid species" on the basis of its hemipenal morphology. Unfortunately he makes no reference to V.scalaris.

This monitor was previously known as Varanus timorensis similis. It is found in northern Australia and the south of New Guinea (the Western Province of Papua and the adjacent part of Irian Jaya (Whitaker et al 1982; Brandenberg 1983)). Because nothing is known of the lifestyle of the animals in New Guinea and very few publications distinguish the Australian races from V.scalaris, this animal is discussed under V.scalaris. Captive care and breeding is reported by Peters (1968), Schmida (1971), Ruegg (1974), Chippindale (1991) and Lambertz (1993,1994).
 
 

 

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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Foraging behaviour

butaan7.jpgWe use feces to investigate diet and activity areas of butaan. In total we have examined more than 1500 samples, possibly the largest ever collected for a single population of reptiles.  Butaan and their relatives are huge specialised frugivores, much bigger than any other specialised frugivorous animal in  the Philippines. They need a constant supply of fruit but lack the wings that allow other frugivores to forage in different forest fragments. Large and immobile, the butaan depends on a very narrow range of foods.

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