Reptiles And Amphibians

Most Dangerous Lizards

Lorelei Cohen's image for:
"Most Dangerous Lizards"
Caption: Lizards
Image by: By Malcolm (originally posted to Flickr as Caiman Lizards) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (

Lizards look much alike small prehistoric creatures, and although they can appear quite frightening, in reality most lizards are completely harmless. Most lizards would rather avoid humans as much as possible and like to do nothing more than to carry on quietly with their day to day routine. There are however a few lizards which can be extremely dangerous if you happen upon them on a bad day.

Considering the fact that there are almost 3800 types of lizards in the world it is quite surprising that only a very few are dangerous enough to pose a risk to humans. However, the ones that are dangerous should definitely be avoided.

These lizards look intimidating, their bite can be lethal, and they are not afraid to make use of the defenses that nature has equipped them with. These lizards can indeed be extremely dangerous.

Possibly the most dangerous lizard in the world would be the Komodo dragon of the Indonesian Islands. This monster of a lizard can grow to be up to ten feet in length and weigh in at up to one hundred and fifty pounds.

Komodo dragons are carnivores, and although they largely feed on carrion, they will also kill prey if it happens past them. They will stalk their prey, and when close enough to attack, make a lunge for the throat of their victim. Most of their live meals are generally smaller animals, but they have attacked prey as large as deer, and man.

Although most victims of the Komono dragon die from blood loss, or shock, the mouth of this lizard is also laced with toxic substances. Tests on the saliva of Komono dragons found up to fifty-seven strains of bacteria thriving within it. Among these nasty toxins were the deadly Staphylococcus and Escherichia coli bacteria. This means that the toxins delivered within the bite of a Komono dragon can leave it's victim with a fatal infection.

Another lizard which has earned itself a reputation as a dangerous reptile to encounter is the Gila monster. A slow moving, and generally docile creature, the Gila monster is one of only two lizards in the world that comes equipped with poisonous venom.

The Gila monsters venom is relative in strength to that of a coral snake but it is usually not fatal to humans because it is produced only in small amounts. However, the Gila monster can bite hard, and hang on tightly to it's victim in an painful grip that is difficult to release. The Gila monster can be found mainly in Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.

The other lizard with a venomous bite is the Bearded lizard of Guatemala and sections of Mexico. Growing up to three feet in length this imposing creature can deliver a firm bite that delivers a very poisonous punch. These toxins can cause respiratory failure, and although human deaths from the Bearded lizards bite are rare, they do occur.

They are definitely lizards worth taking the time to avoid. If you startle them, they are not afraid to make use of the defenses that nature has equipped them with, these lizards are indeed the most dangerous lizards in the world.



More about this author: Lorelei Cohen