American Monitor Lizard

American Monitor Lizard

 

the Russian name for the Teiidae family of lizards. The name comes from the external similarity of the large Teiidae to the Old World monitor lizard, although there is no true relationship between them. The Teiidae are closest to the family of true lizards (Lacertidae). The majority have well developed extremities, with the exception of the representatives from the genus Cophias, in which the extremities are rudimentary. There are 46 genera, comprising 160 species. The Teiidae are found in South America; only the representatives of the genus Cnemidophorus are encountered in the southern part of North America. They are predominantly carnivorous. The teju (up to 90 cm long) lives in the forests and brush of the West Indies and South America, while the species of the genus Cnemidophorus (10–15 cm long) live in dry fields and sands.

REFERENCE

Terent’ev, P. V. Gerpetologiia. Moscow, 1961.
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