The water monitor is an extremely large lizard — some individuals reach 10 feet in length, although most adults only grow to about 5 feet long. All monitors have forked tongues, making them the only reptiles other than snakes to posses this characteristic. Like snakes, this tongue lets them locate their prey through its scent.
In their native, near-water habitats throughout southern Asia, water monitors eat just about anything — insects, crabs, birds and eggs, fishes, amphibians, small mammals and even other reptiles and reptile eggs. When threatened, water monitors can climb trees to escape dangers such as large predatory snakes.