The Monitor Lizards of Southern Africa

Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus) Family: Varanidae. Length: 120-220cm. Description: The lizard is black and yellow with an elongated head and a flat tail to aid in swimming. Juveniles are usually more vividly coloured than adults. Distribution: The species is present in the eastern part of Southern Africa but it is also present along the Orange river …

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Water Snakes of Grahamstown

This list contains all the water snakes that can be found in and around water in the Grahamstown area. As the names suggest, this means that these snakes are usually found in close proximity to water because of their diets that mostly consist of frogs, tadpoles and fish. Although not as closely related to water as the other …

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Green Snakes of the Eastern Cape

This list includes all the green snakes that can be found in the Eastern Cape. Barring the boomslang (Dispholidus typus), all the individuals listed come from the genus Philothamnus and they are all closely related. Although the many-spotted snake (Amplorhinus multimaculatus) can be found in the Eastern Cape, it has not been included on this list …

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The Skinks of Grahamstown

Listed below are the skinks that you are most likely to see or find in and around Grahamstown.  Family: Scincidae The Scincidae family is considered the most species-rich lizard family in the world. In South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland combined, there are 59 recognized species and several subspecies. Skinks are characterized by shiny overlapping scales and …

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Ten of the more common snake species found around Grahamstown

The List is in no particular order, all info ascertained from books published by Johan Marais. References are listed at the end. Brown House Snake (Boaedon capensis) Family: Colubridae Average length: 60-90cm Habitat: Common around houses where it is often found under building rubble, rocks and corrugated metal Diet: Rodents and other small vertebrates Danger to …

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Why can snakes and lizards produce live young when birds cannot?

In the animal kingdom, the ability to reproduce is one of the most critical abilities in an animal’s arsenal because it ensures the survival of the species. There are however three different types of reproduction namely viviparous, ovoviviparous and oviparous reproduction. Viviparity is the ability to produce live young, oviparity is the ability to produce …

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