The Gila Monster (pronounced "Heela") is one of the two confirmed
venomous lizards in the world, the other being its close
relative, the Beaded Lizard. (Some add the Komodo Dragon.)
This attractively pink and black coloured,
artistically-patterned lizard can grow to some 2 feet long.
It has a beaded look to its skin and banded tail which add
to the native artisan impact. The role of the colours and
pattern is to warn predators that it is venomous. It eats
small mammals, reptiles, birds and eggs.
The Gila Monster is native to the Sonora desert in the
southwestern USA and northern Mexico and spends most of the
hot days in underground burrows living off fat reserves stored
in its tail.