on 23rd June 2016

“On the 21st April 2016, a mature Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus) made its commanding presence felt as it dominated over a generous bed of leaf litter, furiously flicking out its forked tongue (below).

Clouded Monitor
Clouded Monitor

“This lizard had only one thing on its mind – food. Oblivious to the attention it was receiving, it was focused on finding earthworms, insects and other tasty snacks. The foraging process includes:

– Sniffing (below):
Using its sensitive tongue and nostrils, the lizard takes a nose-dive to detect its prey.

Clouded Monitor
Clouded Monitor

– Scratching (below):
Using its impressive set of claws, it rakes away the dead leaves and topsoil to expose any invertebrates hiding underneath.

Clouded Monitor
Clouded Monitor

– Swallowing (below):

Clouded Monitor
Clouded Monitor

“As soon as a prey is found, it is swiftly snapped up and gulped down.

“Occasionally, clouded monitors may also use their stout snouts to shovel away loose earth or pry apart root tangle to plough deeper into the topsoil, in search of other invertebrate prey.

“Video clips of this foraging activity may be previewed here:”

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
16th June 2016

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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