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Gila Monster

Gila Monster

Common Name:
Gila Monster
Scientific Name:
Heloderma suspectum
Gestation Period:
125 days
  • Desert
  • Grassland
  • Rocky Areas
22 in
Life Span:
20 yrs
Number of Young:
3-5 eggs
4 lb

Did you know the gila monster's tongue is forked, like a snake's? Learn more about gila monsters.

Care & Wellness:

Gila monster behavior changes throughout the year depending on temperature and day length. To simulate these changes, their habitat replicates these seasonal changes in daylight hours. In addition, since they are nocturnal, it is nighttime in their habitat when we are open and daytime at night.

  • A solitary and primarily nocturnal lizard of the desert.
  • Can dig their own burrows but will steal from other animals too.
  • Their strong bite lets venom flow into the wound from grooves in the teeth as they hold onto prey.
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)
Fun Facts:
  • One of only a few truly venomous lizards
  • Like some other lizards, gila monsters may store fat in their tail.
  • Tongue is forked, like a snake's, and is used to find food or sense danger
A gila monster resting its head on a branch of dried cholla.