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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2005

A Poisonous, Fat – Tailed, Bulldog – Biting Lizard

In God’s wonderful wisdom, He created some very interesting creatures to live on planet Earth. Some of those creatures live in oceans, others in deserts. Some can fly or run very fast, others move very slowly.

Among God’s many creatures, the Gila monster is one of the most amazing and interesting. It is one of the only two poisonous kinds of lizards in the world (the other is the Mexican Beaded Lizard). Gila monsters have short legs, a thick body, a wide head, and a very fat tail. When looking at its tail, you might wonder why it so fat and sausage-like tail? In God’s wisdom, He designed the Gila to be able to store fat in its tail, much like a camel does in its hump. The Gila can go for long periods of time without eating anything, because it uses the fat in its tail to survive.

This interesting lizard is a carnivore, which means that it eats other animals like mice, birds, and animal eggs. Gila’s find their prey by “smelling” them with their tongues. They have forked tongues (like snakes)that they flick into the air and taste the scent particles left by other animals. In this way, they are able to track theirprey, often taking it by surprise.

Not only does the Gila have a great sense of smell, but it also can move quickly, climb trees, and burrow by using powerful claws. The Gila monster even has poison glands
in its mouth. When the Gila bites anything, it chomps down hard and holds on, much like a bulldog. While
it does this, poison from the glands in its lower jaw flows through grooves in its teeth into the wound. The Gila bite is poisonous, but it is rarely fatal to humans. In fact, it
is said that one of the most difficult things to do is get
the lizard to let go!

Gila’s can live 20 years or more. They spend most of their time underground. Young Gilas can eat up to 50% of their own body weight at one time (that would be like a 100 pound man eating 200 quarter-pound hamburgers at one meal!).

The idea of evolution cannot explain the wonderful design of the Gila monster. Only God has the wisdom and ability to design such an amaz-ing creature. If you ever see one of these creatures, don’tpick it up, but doremember the awesome God Who designed it.



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