Animal Facts
    Common Name:
    Gila Monster
    Scientific Name:
    Heloderma suspectum
    • A solitary and primarily nocturnal lizard of the desert.
    • Can dig their own burrows but will steal from other animals too.
    • Their strong bite lets venom flow into the wound from grooves in the teeth as they hold onto prey.
    4 lb
    22 in
    Life Span:
    20 yrs
    Gestation Period:
    125 days
    Number of Young:
    3-5 eggs
    • Desert
    • Grassland
    • Rocky Areas
    Fun Facts:
    • One of only a few truly venomous lizards
    • Like some other lizards, gila monsters may store fat in their tail.
    • Tongue is forked, like a snake's, and is used to find food or sense danger
    • Habitat Loss
    • Poaching / Over Consumption
    Endangered Status
    Endangered Status
    • Extinct in Wild (EW)
    • Critically Endangered (CR)
    • Endangered (EN)
    • Vulnerable (VU)
    • Near Threatened (NT)
    • Least Concern (LC)
    • Not Evaluated (NE)

    Gila monster behavior changes throughout the year depending on temperature and day length. To simulate these changes, their habitat replicates these seasonal changes in daylight hours. In addition, since they are nocturnal, it is nighttime in their habitat when we are open and daytime at night.