The 12 largest lizards of planet Earth

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Lizards are truly amazing creatures. Leading your kind with times of dinosaurs, they practically did not change until today of the day. Evolutionarily adapted to a wide variety of climatic conditions, they spread almost throughout the planet Earth. AND if in “our land” there are only habitual real lizards (this is the name of the family, scientific), placed in the palm of your hand, then in distant lands, these creatures can reach enormous sizes – reminiscent of the fact that the ancestors of animals were dinosaurs.

And in this article we will talk about the largest lizards of the planet Earth – living witnesses to evolution, existing millions of years and almost perfect.

The largest lizards of planet Earth

Nomination a place name Maximum length
The largest lizards of planet Earth 12 Giant chameleon 60 cm
11 Arizona Toadjack 60 cm
10 Philippine sailing lizard 100 cm.
9 Common Konolof 125 cm.
8 Marine iguana 140 cm.
7 Argentinian black and white tagu 140 cm.
6 Green iguana 200 cm
5 White-necked monitor lizard 200 cm
4 Varan of Salvador 200 cm
3 Striped monitor lizard 250 cm
2 Giant monitor lizard 250 cm
1 Komodo monitor lizard 300 cm

12th place: Giant Chameleon (up to 60 cm)

Rating: 3.9


Some time ago, scientists made quite interesting observation. It turns out animals existing on remote from sushi islands with a strictly defined and unchanged set of species, tend to increase in size. This phenomenon is called “island gigantism” and is observed in both mammals and reptiles, and in birds. And immediately

The same phenomenon is observed in several representatives at once. of our rating, one of them is a giant chameleon. He dwells only on the island of Madagascar and is able to grow up to 60 centimeters in length – from the “nose” to the tip of the tail.

Males reach such sizes – they, as a rule, are somewhat larger than females. Giant chameleons are dimly colored – mostly in brown, but the body is covered with specks of red, green and yellow shades. The crest on the back is small, similar to the saw.

It lives on trees and is active primarily during the day. Predator – feeds on insects, small lizards, animals and birds. Behind prey “runs” along the branches, easily moving from one to another thanks to a very tenacious tail and strong legs. Able to live to see 15 years.

The giant chameleon is one of the egg-laying lizards. At he is very prolific in this. The female is capable of two masonry per season, and each time brings up to 60 eggs. True, they ripen for a very long time – young giant chameleons hatch in 9-10 months.

Like other chameleons, the giant is able to change the color of the body. But it does this relatively slowly and infrequently. He does not represent of particular interest to predators due to living in tree crowns, and thanks to almost omnivorous is able to eat any animal prey.

11th place: Arizona Toothpick (up to 60 cm)

Rating: 4.0

Arizona Venom Tooth

An Arizona Toothpot is a fairly large and dangerous lizard. Contact it can leave very painful wounds with her. Because of this as well large, it’s also called the “chila-monster” (“Chila” is Arizona River, where the Toadjaw lives).

An adult Arizona venomous tooth reaches a length of up to 60 centimeters, of which 15-17 fall on a thick and massive tail. Lizard painted in contrasting stripes and spots of orange and black. This appearance scares away predators, warning them of the toxicity animal.

Lizard venom is produced in the salivary glands and enters the body victims after a bite. Causes sharp muscle relaxation, as well as has neurotoxic and anticoagulant effects. For bites of an Arizona Toothpick are not fatal except rare cases, but small animals die literally through a few minutes after “meeting” this lizard. True herself the reptile prefers to hunt without poisoning the prey. And based one of the substances that make up the poison in the 1990s succeeded develop a cure for type 2 diabetes.

Arizona venomous tooth is not only large, but also heavy. It can reach up to 2 kilograms of “live weight”. Ironic but also reptile diet is mainly “protein” – the animal eats eggs birds, snakes and turtles, and in their absence can have a bite small mammals or birds. But especially hunt for feeding the toothfish is not required. Reptile feeds 8-10 times per year.

Due to hunting and habitat destruction, the number of Arizona the venom is gradually reduced. Lizard included in american Red book and prohibited from export from the United States.

10th place: Philippine sailing lizard (up to 100 cm)

Rating: 4.1


Philippine Sailing Lizard – Largest Representative agam family. Another species that has a phenomenon island gigantism. Reptile, as the name implies, lives exclusively in the Philippines.

One of the most interesting features of the Philippine sailing lizards – she is omnivorous. That is, it eats not only small mammals, birds and eggs. Also included in her diet plants – fruits, flowers and leaves.

Adult Filipino sailing lizard is able to reach up to 1 meters in length, and half of this falls on the tail. On him the crest is located, in honor of which the animal got its name. In males, it is significantly higher and longer than in females. Body reptiles are painted dark green with a gray tint and light (“yellowish”) spots. On the lower jaw, throat and forelegs – deep blue scales. In males it is also brighter than in females.

Because the range of the Filipino sailing lizard includes wet tropics with numerous rivers and rice fields nearby, the animal knows how to swim and spends quite a lot in the water time. On the coastal territory, it also digs holes in which lays eggs.

Philippine sailing agama can be kept in terrariums. It rather quickly acclimatizes and gets used to the person. However It is forbidden to catch it – the species is among the vulnerable.

9th place: Common Konolof (up to 125 cm)

Rating: 4.2

Ordinary konolof

The common konolof, also called the Galapagos – one of the largest representatives of the iguana family. In adulthood capable of reaching 1.25 meters in length. It lives exclusively on Galapagos archipelago, so its large size can also to be a consequence of island gigantism.

Unlike most other iguanas, the common konolof (as well as his close relative, pale konolof) does not have high crest on the back or tail. However, a number of thorns still there. Due to their small size, they are practically not stand out, why konolof is more like an overgrown lizard than to the familiar iguana.

The tail occupies more than half the length of the body of Konoloph Scales painted yellow brown with various shades and transitions, but the appearance is still discreet. Thereby a lizard hides on the surface of dry land.

Konolofs are herbivorous, while their diet includes only one type of cacti – prickly pear. Lizards feed on their flowers and young sprouts. Animals also learned to get rid of the spikes with which cacti are covered – for this they simply roll parts of the plant in the earth.

Another interesting feature of the Konolofs is that they are extremely they are picky about laying eggs. Females are capable walk up to 15 kilometers before a suitable stretch is found. On the island of Fernandina, covered with cliffs and dry land, most often, females choose an extinct crater for laying eggs volcano. After 3-4 months, young lizards hatch.

8th place: Marine iguana (up to 140 cm)

Rating: 4.3

Marine iguana

Sea iguana is another huge lizard inhabiting exclusively in the Galapagos Islands. One of the brightest representatives of their fauna – by its appearance you can definitely understand that these reptiles descended from dinosaurs. 140 cm body painted black-brown color and is crowned with a crest of white or dark sharp spikes. A wide and massive head is “equipped” with strong and powerful the jaws.

The lizard got its name due to the fact that most spends time at sea or on shore. Powerful paws with huge claws help her to stay on the rocks and resist the surf. True, the iguana comes ashore mainly in order to bask in the sun.

Despite its impressive and creepy appearance, as well as huge size, marine iguana – “vegetarian.” Most algae, which the reptile eats, biting with coastal stones. She is also able to dive for food and swim, but, being cold-blooded, she rarely plunges into depth where the sun’s rays do not penetrate. Under water a lizard can spend up to 1 hour – and at this time its physiology changes. Blood begins to flow only to the most important organs in order to save oxygen reserves.

The marital behavior of marine iguanas is also interesting. Males (which, By the way, they become brighter and become covered with red spots) arrange “battles”, butting foreheads. Fertilized female during digs a hole in pregnancy off the coast, where it lays the eggs. The first few days, she protects the “cubs,” and then leaves. Young iguanas hatch after about 3 months.

The marine iguana is defenseless against introduced predators, and particularly affected by dogs, cats and rats. Also masonry The eggs are often torn by pigs. As a result, the view is now in number of vulnerable.

7th place: Argentinean black and white tegu (up to 140 cm)

Rating: 4.4

Argentine black and white tegu

A family lives in Argentina and surrounding countries. tag lizards, very similar to monitor lizards, and a black and white subspecies – the largest of them. Adult animals can grow up to 1.4 meter in length.

Obviously, the species got its name from the coloration. Elongated body on powerful paws it is covered with black and white scales. Light spots merge into torn stripes with characteristic “eyes”. On the back – short, not too sharp crest. The paws are strong but short, and therefore, the tag practically does not run, but it digs holes perfectly.

Daegu is one of the most dangerous Argentinean reptiles. Fleeing from enemies, including from humans, the lizard runs away. But being cornered, she launches both powerful jaws and sharp claws, and even punches the tail. Daegu leaves lacerations which are sore and heal for a long time.

Despite good digging ability, he prefers to tag Do not dig your own, but use the already “ready” ones. “Housing” he takes away from armadillos, and is also able to settle in termite mounds. Small insects cannot damage the stiff scales of the lizard, therefore they have to put up with harmful neighbors.

Daegu is a predator, and even its dental system has evolved especially for eating meat. He has both fangs and chewing. molars. Heterodontic dental system (that’s what this name is “formula”) – a rarity for reptiles. Tag diet includes small animals, birds, lizards, insects and even mollusks. However, if no meat food was found, the lizard can also enjoy fruit. Daegu is a pest for local villagers, as often climbs into the chicken coops.

However, the locals are also not very friendly with the tag. They prey on this lizard for food. Reptile meat according “reviews” taste like chicken.

6th place: Green iguana (up to 200 cm)

Rating: 4.5


Green iguana, also called common iguana – the largest representative of the iguana family. And at the same time – the most common. Its natural range includes almost the entire north of South America and partly south of North America – for example, part of mexican territory florida usa and hawaiian islands. In addition, the green iguana is often held as pet friendly. It also contributes to the spread of the species – the lizard is unpretentious and, having escaped from the owners, can settle in local forests.

Adult iguana can grow up to 2 meters and reach mass in 8 kg, although the vast majority of representatives of the species, as typically about 50 cm shorter. Painted lizard in bright green color with dark patches and numerous white specks, which is why it got its name. On the back – a row of prickly curved spikes extending from the neck to the tip of the tail.

It is worth noting that the color of the green iguana varies depending from the habitat. “Residents” in Peru, for example, are painted in bluish color; in El Salvador – in bright blue; in Costa Rica – in red brown; in Mexico – in orange. Hue also varies with age.

The green iguana has three eyes. Two of them are on the edges heads. The third is rudimentary, located on the crown of the head and hidden under skin. In this area, it becomes translucent in order to let in light. Scientists do not know specifically why the third iguana eye, and suggest that it is involved in the formation of daily allowance rhythms and orientation in space.

Interestingly, the green iguana is an exceptionally herbivorous animal. It feeds mainly on fruits, leaves and flowers. IN Panama it turns into a serious agricultural pest, because it “attacks” the plantings of the Jamaican plum.

5th place: White-necked monitor lizard (up to 200 cm)

Rating: 4.6

White-necked lizard

The remaining half of our ranking of the largest lizards of the planet The land is occupied by monitor lizards. These animals themselves are larger than the rest, so also grow to absolutely breathtaking sizes. They were impressively huge even in prehistoric times. For example, the largest lizard in history was megalania, belonging to the family of monitor lizards and reaching 7 meters in length.

Modern lizards are somewhat more modest. For example, white-choked, living in central Africa, able to grow up to 2 in length meters (males, females of the usual “shorter”). He got his name due to the characteristic color. The whole body is covered with brown scales, and only the throat is very light.

On the scales there are “sockets” – light spots with dark edging. This is a characteristic feature of all monitor lizards. But the white-necked they are placed so that they create the illusion of stripes.

White-necked monitor lizard is one of the main predators of central Africa. The lizard moves fairly quickly on the ground and can climb on trees, where he catches everything that he is capable of. The diet includes snakes (especially cobras, vipers and snakes), small mammals and birds. In the rainy season, the “diet” of the monitor lizard changes – in it begin snails and insects prevail. Local farmers complain about lizard – it is able to plunder chicken coops.

White-necked lizard due to its unpretentiousness and not too aggressive disposition is often found in terrariums.

4th place: Varan of Salvador (up to 200 cm)

Rating: 4.7

Varan of Salvador

Varan of El Salvador, also called crocodile – one of largest in the world. Able to grow up to 2 meters in length, except Moreover, a single case of capture of a lizard was recorded, numbering 265 centimeters from the nose to the tip of the tail.

Crocodile monitor lizard – the dominant predator of New Guinea. He is not only very large, but also leads an active lifestyle. Crocodile monitor lizard is able to run fast on long and powerful paws, and thanks to a special respiratory system, he also hardy. And the lizard can climb trees. As a result, local residents believe that a crocodile monitor lizard is an evil spirit that can walk straight, breathe fire and kill people.

Indeed, a crocodile monitor lizard due to physical strength, sharp claws and powerful jaws can kill a person. But people He is of little interest. He preys on other large mammals – wild pigs, woody kangaroos and so on. However, the animal is not disdain carrion, feeds on reptiles, birds, small couscous and even insects. When kept in captivity, does not refuse feed for dogs.

Like many other monitor lizards, the crocodile has powerful jaws and sharp teeth. When hunting, he seeks to immediately bite the most important organs of production. A case is described when a single crocodile bite the monitor lizard caused a shock in an adult man. However, this is not prevents locals from hunting a lizard – they make from its skin ritual drums.

3rd place: Striped monitor lizard (up to 250 cm)

Rating: 4.8

Striped monitor lizard

Striped monitor lizard, also called water lizard – one of the most the largest lizards in the world. Able to grow up to 2.5 meters, reaching mass of 25 kilograms. However, such cases are very rare. Usually striped monitor lizards grow “only” to 2 meters and 15 kilograms.

Striped monitor lizard lives in Southeast Asia, meeting in China, India and some Pacific island states The ocean. Semi-aquatic animal found on the banks of rivers, canals and even on the beaches. Swims well, is able to dive, holding his breath for 20-30 minutes (however, he doesn’t really like this business).

On the shores, a striped monitor lizard digs very deep burrows – leaving in land at a distance of 10 meters. There he rests. Also able to climb trees, but not too high. Predator but not specialized, able to eat everything that only catches. Intelligent – often uses various strategies for hunting. For example, it can beat its tail in the water, throwing fish ashore.

Interestingly, in Sri Lanka, striped lizards are considered very useful in the household. Here they live in rice fields. and they catch freshwater crabs that undermine the thickets of cereals.

The striped monitor lizard got its name because of the characteristic color. His body is covered with dark scales. Light located on it “sockets” are folded into strips. Young monitor lizards have a body pattern brighter and more contrast than the old ones.

Striped monitor lizard is able to be held in captivity. However observations show that it is very dangerous for humans. For example, once the striped monitor lizard attacked and killed the baby. Also representatives of the species rushed to the zoo rangers and police.

Interestingly, among the Asian tribes the striped monitor lizard was ritual to animals. Lizards were caught and used in the cooking of poison “scavenger”. While the substance was “prepared,” the connected monitor lizards lying around the fire, beaten. Annoyed lizards hissed, thereby “inflating” the fire, and natives collected their salivating saliva and added to “carabator”.

2nd place: Giant monitor lizard (up to 250 cm)

Rating: 4.9


The giant monitor lizard is Australia’s largest lizard. Absolutely not similar to the rest of the family because it has a narrow elongated body and long neck. Therefore, it is quite “easy”. Individuals that have reached a length of 1.3 meters have a mass of only 2 kilograms.

However, adult lizards are able to grow up to 2.5 meters in length. In this case, they “get fat” up to 20 kilograms (maximum registered weight). Painted classic for monitor lizards dirty brown, however the head, belly and lower neck covered in black and white “rosettes”. The older the lizard – the less the picture becomes contrasting.

Giant monitor lizards – one of the most poorly studied representatives family. They live in regions inaccessible to humans, arid deserts, and so scientists only reached them relatively recently. For example, in 2005, researchers University of Melbourne discovered that giant monitor lizards could be poisonous. The toxins contained in the saliva of lizards are rather weak, but possess some muscle relaxation and anticoagulant properties.

The giant monitor lizard is one of the fastest lizards on planet Earth. He is able to run at speeds up to 40 kilometers per hour. Wherein the lizard is also able to rise on its hind legs. Often, rising and leaning on its tail, a giant monitor lizard looks around the surrounding desert.

The giant monitor lizard is the highest predator – that is, it catches everyone, who is able to catch, but no one hunts him. For man the lizard is theoretically dangerous, but not a single one has yet been described cases of unprovoked attack. But when defending, he wields and powerful jaws, and strong paws, and a long tail. One a blow of a lizard, like a whip, is able to bring down a person with legs.

1st place: Komodo lizard (up to 300 cm)

Rating: 5.0


Komodo monitor lizard, also known as the “Komodo dragon” or “terrestrial crocodile” – the largest lizard on planet Earth. is he able to grow up to 3 meters in length! Fortunately he dwells only on Komodo Island, so meeting an animal on the street is not will work out.

Komodo lizard holds the lead in the ranking is not so much the most large, but also the heaviest lizards of planet Earth. Adult animals weigh more than 130 kilograms.

The animal is painted in a dark brown color. The skin is thick small scales reinforced by small osteoderms – tiny outgrowths. About half of the body length of a monitor lizard falls on the tail. Paws are long and powerful. Komodo lizards are agile, flexible, and sufficiently fast – able to accelerate to 20 kilometers an hour. It’s less than other members of the family, but still faster person.

Moreover, the Komodo lizard is the highest predator. Thanks to good the sense of smell is able to smell prey (large or small mammals) at a distance of up to 9 kilometers. However, if not nearby turned out to be goats or buffaloes, the Komodo dragon is able to dine and carrion, and turtles, and pythons, and even relatives. Possesses aggressive disposition, often conflicts with other monitor lizards, however it is common for him to wait for prey, and not to chase after it.

Komodo lizard is dangerous to humans. It was registered several cases of unprovoked attacks, including with fatal. Komodo lizards are known to unearth fresh graves and eat corpses. Powerful jaws are dangerous for humans. reptiles – even young animals are able to tear off muscles without speaking so about the old. The poison is dangerous, but not fatal.

In addition, the Komodo lizard is able to smell the blood on distance up to 5 kilometers. Therefore, huntsmen do not recommend tourists go to parks where “land crocodiles” live, if they have there are fresh wounds or scratches (and also “go” “critical days “).

Currently chest of drawers, being a vulnerable species and endemic to the island of Komodo, are a threatened species. Hunt for They are prohibited.

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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