An Ode to Monitors

25 Sep

My first herping adventure post was a monitor wandering through Lumpani Park. These giants are so ubiquitous in Bangkok that I thought it was about time I made another post. Honestly, once you know how to look, it’s amazing how many you’ll see!

Water Monitors can be seen at the temples and monuments:

When you visit the parks, you’ll see them just lounging alongside the canals:

Or even swimming in them!

Water Monitor Varanus salvator swimming

Sometimes they move through the water slowly, hunting for food:

Water Monitor Varanus salvator

Water Monitor Varanus salvator

Though they’re huge, mostly they only eat crabs, snails, frogs, and other such small creatures…or trash and dead fish when they can find it!

Water Monitor Varanus salvator eating fish

Water Monitor Varanus salvator head shot

They have a certain interesting appearance when they’re walking over land:

And they can make beautiful waterfall decorations

From time to time, they’ll even be hanging out up in the trees

Water Monitor Varanus salvator

You might catch them making baby water monitors

Young monitors, by the way, are very very small (these are only ~35cm long!)

Water Monitor Varanus salvator juvenile

Water Monitor Varanus salvator juvenile

But old monitors can be very, very big! (this one was over 230cm long! And fat!)

Water Monitor Varanus salvator

To get a better idea of the size of these beasts, here are some attempted scaled shots that friends of mine posed for:

water monitor in Bangkok

water monitor in bangkok, thailand

That’s all I have for today. Don’t let the monitors walk on by without noticing these fantastic Bangkok residents…

1 Comment

Posted by on September 25, 2014 in Herping adventures


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One response to “An Ode to Monitors

  1. Eric Wayne

    September 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Even thought they are commonplace in parts of Bangkok, they are still amazing. And I never see them up North. There is a mangrove swamp in Bpaaknam that used to be filled with them, along with mudskippers and crabs, but last time I went I didn’t see any. Also, the Thai name for them (the one that isn’t a very bad word) is “dtaguat”. If a police officers is looking at one, it’s “dtamruat duu dtaguat”, which is a fun thing to say.

    Great photos. Thoroughly enjoyed them!


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