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Fly on the Wall 

December 22, 2010

Welcome home, water monitor!

While biologists are always fine tuning and adding new animals to the Academy’s exhibits, some are small and can fly (or crawl) under the radar. Not this one! This morning, the aquarium staff moved a 3-foot-long water monitor (Varanus salvator) into the Borneo level of the Rainforests of the World exhibit. That may sound large for a lizard, but in fact she has plenty of room to grow in the exhibit, and may as much as double in size. Water monitors are typically found near water in nature (hence the name), so her enclosure was remodeled to feature a private pool, how luxurious! According to zoo and aquarium database Isis.org, there are only 17 members of this species known to be on exhibit in the U.S., and the Academy’s individual is the only one in California. Watch for her in the cave just inside the rainforest entrance.
Water monitor 1Water monitor 2

Filed under: Aquarium — Helen @ 4:03 pm


  1. I long for the day when I can visit in person. I adore this website. Can we get more photos or video of the water moniter? Is it related to the Indonesian Komodo Dragon?

    Comment by Mimi — January 4, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  2. yes it is related to the komodo dragon. they are both in the veranus family, the water monitor is veranus salvator and the kamodo dragon is veranus komodoensis. I would love to stop in and see this guy (or girl) sometime. I also have one of my own he is a 2 month old hatchling and is already 20 inches long!

    Comment by casey — February 26, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

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