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The Nile Monitor, Water Leguaan,[2] or River Leguaan (Varanus niloticus) is a large member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae).

Nile Monitors can grow to about 9 ft (2.7 m) in length. They have muscular bodies, strong legs and powerful jaws. The teeth are sharp and pointed in juvenile animals and become blunt and peg-like in adults. They also possess sharp claws used for climbing, digging, defense, or tearing at their prey. Like all monitors they have a forked tongue, with highly developed olfactory properties.

Their nostrils are placed high on the snout, indicating that these animals are highly aquatic, but are also excellent climbers and quick runners on land. Nile Monitors feed on fish, snails, frogs, crocodile eggs and young, snakes, birds, small mammals, large insects, and carrion.

In South Africa they are commonly referred to as "leguaan," from the Dutch for iguana.

Nile monitors are native to Africa and the species is distributed throughout the entire central and southern

Nile Monitor
Nile Monitor
Nile Monitor lying in water


Throughout south and centrel africa with small populations in the US. Lives around rivers and lakes.


Weight: 4.5-7.25kg

Length: 9 ft (2.7 m)


Mostly on fish, frogs, snails, snakes and small mammals. Will eat crocodile eggs and carrion as well.

Weapons and Traits

Powerful jaw with blunt, peg like teeth, sharp claws and muscular legs, great swimmers and climbers, can run quite fast on land.

Battle Staus

Victorious against the King Cobra. On hold will compete against the Green Iguana

regions of the continent, including Sudan and a portion of central Egypt along the Nile river (Schleich et al., 1996; Spawls et al., 2002). They are not found in any of the desert regions of Africa, however, as they are excellent swimmers and thrive around rivers.[3][4]

In Florida, established breeding populations of Nile monitors are known to exist in different parts of the state since at least 1990 (Campbell, 2003; Enge et al. 2004). The vast majority of the established breeding population of the species is in Lee County, Florida, particularly in the Cape Coral and surrounding regions, including the nearby barrier islands (Sanibel, Captiva, and North Captiva), Pine Island, Fort Myers, and Punta Rassa. Established populations also exist in adjacent Charlotte County, especially in Gasparilla Island.[5] Areas with a sizeable number of Nile monitor sightings in Florida include Palm Beach County just southwest of West Palm Beach along State Road 80. In July 2008 a Nile monitor was spotted in Homestead, a small city southwest of Miami. Other sightings have been reported near Hollywood, Naranja, and as far south as Key Largo in the Florida Keys.[7][8] The potential for the established population of Nile monitors in Lee, Charlotte, and other counties in Florida, to negatively impact indigenous crocodilians (American alligator "Alligator mississippiensis" and American crocodile "Crocodylus acutus") is enormous given that they normally raid crocodile nests, eat eggs, and prey on small crocodiles in Africa. Anecdotal evidence indicates a high rate of disappearance of domestic pets and feral cats in Cape Coral (Campbell, 2003).

It stays close to water, and can dive for up to one hour. It is very agile on land and in the water. It is diurnal. Active during the day.

Battle against the King Cobra []

A king cobra that escaped from an exotic wildlife park slinks silently through the undergrowth on the trail of another snake in Africa. Nearby a Nile Monitor is resting by the side of the river, basking in the afternoon sun. The snake slithers down to the side of the river and sips up some water before carrying on its search for prey. It spots the nile monitor and decides that it is a much more nutritious prey than another snake and raises itself up into the air, until it is mere centimeters away from the sleeping lizard. Suddenly a crashing sounds from the bushes and the nile monitor's eyes flick open and it comes face to face with the cobra. It leaps back, just about managing to dodge the lightning fast strike of the cobra. It jumps forward and digs its claws into the cobra's soft underbelly, slamming them both into the ground. The cobra wraps its coils around the monitor and squeezes it until it releases its grip on the snake's body. It then repeatedly drives its fangs into the monitor's torso but its thick skin coupled by the weakness of the strikes fail to penetrate the monitor's skin. The monitor lunges forward and grabs the snake by the hood, ripping out a large chunk. It then grabs the cobra by the neck and shakes it about, stunning the snake and giving the monitor enough time to rip off it's head.

The monitor swallows the head and looks over the body of the snake. It stores it in a tree before returning to his sunbathing spot and going into a deep sleep once again.

Winner Nile Monitor

Experts Opinion wait was a KING cobra venomous

The nile monitor's versatility won him the day. As he could attack with both his claws and teeth he had the advantage over the cobra and his thick skin prevented the cobra from doing any real damage.