Gould's Monitor, Racehorse Goanna
Ah, my first Australian "goanna". This beautiful lizard was spotted along the side of a dirt road by our Australian friends Martin Cohen and Julia Cooper. Sand monitors range throughout nearly all of Australia, but normally they don't let you get quite this close.
Australian monitor lizards are often called "goannas". The word "goanna" is believed to be an old corruption of "iguana", probably given by early European travellers who were familiar with the common iguanas of the Americas but were not familiar with other large lizards.
Martin and Julia now run Wild About Australia, so others can benefit from their wildlife expertise as I did.
Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Australia.
Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Western Australia.
We saw about the same number of these monitors on this trip as we had on the previous trip, but they were even more easily spooked this time. I could only get a few halfway decent photos, and those only from inside our rental car.
After taking this photo, I slowly got out of the car to try to approach more closely, but the lizard had other ideas, and raced off.
Ive written up an account of this three-week trip to Australia here.
Our favorite view of a Varanus gouldii on this trip was of this handsome fellow just getting out of bed in the morning.