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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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Bye Bye Butaan

 butaan1.jpg

Butaan start to visit fruiting trees before they are large enough to swallow the fruits. They make repeat journeys to trees, perhaps to reinforce memory of the position of the tree. If the youngster survives it may continue to use this tree for many decades. Fruiting trees like this are a vital resource for entire populations of butaan. Learn more >


 
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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Research
butaan3.jpgThe only obligate fruit-eaters among reptiles are three species of monitor lizard that live in the Philippines. Frugivorous vertebrates tend to be able to fly (almost all are bats and birds) and so these lizards have a unique ecological role as highly specialized and relatively immobile fruit eaters. Before this project started, the only studies of this unique giant and endangered lizard had involved killing the animals. We have developed a set of techniques that allow us to learn about these animals in a completely non-destructive way.
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