Varanids, Varanids Everywhere!

Until I did the A to Z of the Zoo Challenge for myself, I had no idea what a varanid was.  I’d heard the term, of course; having a herper for a husband means that you’ll have passing acquaintance with things like, well, herper, and varanid, and uromastix, and all sorts of other impossible Latinates that herpers use to converse about their favorite animals: herps.

So what’s a varanid?

Well, there’s a journal specifically dedicated to varanids, otherwise known as monitor lizards.  Its address is interesting too, since it’s  My husband tells me that one common factor among herps, or people who like reptiles and snakes, is that they have a wide vocabulary in Latin for the animals they love.  I’ve seen this in action at a herpsoc meeting, or Chicago Herpetological Society, when a tattooed biker carried on a conversation with a PhD’d biologist from the University of Chicago who’d come to visit.

Okay, so.  Today’s post is my Ode to Cold Medicine or, What To Show You When I Already Showed My Varanid Pics

This is my idea of a pet.  I can hug it, and love it, and call it George.  Or, in this case, Coyote.

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Alternatively known as Snappy the Snarlmuffin and Big Dumazz.

She is not, however, at the zoo.  Nor, for that matter, a varanid.

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This, however, is a varanid, and he’s our friendly local Argus Monitor.  I found a picture of him from last year, so even if I’ve already shown you his existence, you haven’t seen this photo.  Take that, Dayquill.

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This very excited peacock was displaying near one of the cafes.  They have a private area where they are fed and can hang out without being pestered by passers by.  In this case, though, he was being annoyed by a small boy of about twelve.

My husband studied this, and the adults all standing around watching the little boy edge closer and closer – despite signs all over the place asking parents not to allow their children to do this – and calmly said to me, “You know, that’s a threat display.”

The mother promptly whisked her little boykin up and stalked away in a huff.

The peacock, on the other hand, was quite relieved.

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While trying to find other monitor lizards for you, since today’s post is about varanids, I found this lovely shot from last year.  Inne adorable!?

Oh fine, he’s not a varanid.

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THERE!  Happynow?  You can get an idea of the massive muscles involved in his tail, when you realize that the girth of his tail rivals that of his haunches.  They can use the tail as a weapon for defense, if needed.

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Okay, one more.  Remember in my okapi post how I said I couldn’t find my other okapi shots?  Well, I still can’t; one of my zoo trips’ photos are all jumbled up and out of order.  But I found this one and just had to share it with you because it’s such an unusual animal.  This is the first time I’d ever seen an okapi; I didn’t even know what it was called.  I must have stood there a good five minutes without saying anything, just trying to figure out what the heck I was looking at.  A giraffezebra?  A zebraff?  A baby giraffe?  Can’t be; wrong color.  Look at his ears!  Is it a he?  Are those horns?  His tongue is black!  Like a giraffe.  Maybe a weird hybrid giraffe thingie?

Like I said, Dear Reader.  Cold medicine.  It’s what’s for dinner.

Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland.  Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

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