About
Animal Facts
Common Name:
Gila Monster
Scientific Name:
Heloderma suspectum
Behavior:
  • 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.
Diet:
Carnivore
Weight:
4 lb
Length:
22 in
Life Span:
20 yrs
Gestation Period:
125 days
Number of Young:
3-5 eggs
Habitats:
  • Desert
  • Grassland
  • Rocky Areas
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.
Threats:
  • Habitat Loss
  • Poaching / Over Consumption
Endangered Status
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)

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.