‘World Lizard Day’ officially falls on the 14th of August this year and Papua New Guinea is home to the World’s Longest Lizard, the Varanus Salvadorii, commonly referred to as the ‘Crocodile Monitor’, which can grow as long as 3.6 meters in length.
Lizards live in almost any habitat and can be found on every continent in the world except Antarctica. There are over 5,000 lizard species around the world ranging from geckos to iguanas and Blue-tongued lizards.
The Nature Park has a number of lizards that it cares for including the blue–tongued lizards that is part of the reptile family at the Park.
The Blue tongued lizard comes in a variety of sizes and colours with the distinctive characteristic that they all have blue tongues. Their blue tongue is a defensive mechanism. When the lizard is threatened, it sticks out its large blue tongue and hisses loudly to scare off predators. Its large head and blue tongue are usually enough to scare many predators into thinking this lizard is dangerous. Actually, it’s quite harmless.
Blue tongues eat a wide variety of both plants and animals. Blue tongues are not vert agile and the animals they eat are mostly slow-moving. Their teeth are large, and they have strong jaw muscles so they can crush snail shells and beetles.
Over the past eight years the Nature Park has hand-raised, rehabilitated and saved hundreds of native animals like the blue-tongued lizards. Its rescue and rehabilitation program secures the welfare and conservation of animals that have been endangered or threatened and can no longer thrive in their environment.
Come learn more about lizards by visiting the Nature Park ‘Reptile Haus’.
The Port Moresby Nature Park is dedicated to inspiring in others the guardianship of PNG’s unique natural environment and culture.