ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Does a Gila Monster Eat?

Updated on October 1, 2011

A Gila Monster is also called Heloderma suspectrum scientifically. It is a big lizard known for its venomous capabilities and its striking color. A Gila monster is categorized under the beaded lizard family together with the Mexican beaded lizard. These two creatures are the only member of the Helodermatidae family. Gila monsters are prominent in stony, arid environments like the Colorado River basin located at the South Western side of the US. It can also be found in the western parts of Guatemala and Mexico.

Gila monsters are capable of growing up to 46 centimetres or 18 inches in size. They are usually black or brown, trimmed with dark yellow markings. Their body structure is heavy and cylindrical. The body ends with a rounded, thick tail, and this tails are the ones that store their reserved energy during lean periods. Their heads are relatively larger. It is massive and flat, and the Gila monsters have plenty of their slightly curved teeth.

Being terrestrial lizards, Gila monsters are most active and energetic during dawn and dusk. Their body temperature is dependent on the habitual temperature. During winter, they are less active especially in the northern ranges. These creatures can live up to 2 decades when held in captivity.

As said, they are known to be the venomous lizards, with their venom glands found on the upper and lower part of their jaws. They are the only venomous lizards and monitors in the world, together with he Mexican beaded lizards.

The Gila monsters’ venom glands are the ones responsible for synthesizing and storing potent toxins that are used for paralyzing the circulatory and cardiac of their preys. These Gila monsters bite and chew wounds in their victim, making way for the venom to pass through this opening. The venom flows along the circulation of the Gila monsters’ capillaries then through the deep grooves of their teeth. Since they are monstrous biters, they immobilize vertebrate animals – whether they are their prey of predators. Their bites are definitely painful, although can rarely cause death to humans.

What Do They Eat?

These Gila monsters feed on broad range of animals – small birds, eggs, nestlings, worms, and carrions. They swallow the food in wholes, except when they eat eggs, which they break before eating. Just like regular lizards, these creatures use their forked tongues in finding food. They use their tongues with their associated sensory organ which is called the Jacobson’s organ located at the roof of their oral cavity. The process is called chemosensation that helps them find their food.

They reproduce by laying up to thirteen eggs in a clasp. These eggs are then buried, and incubated for more that 130 days until they will hatch.

Due to its odd-looking attributes, and their tendency to become dangerous, they are not often kept as pet. Their population is coming to depletion because of the killings of these animals. People kill Gila monsters because they are feared and also, they use Gila monsters for commercial purposes. They sell the Gila monsters’ skin and they also include the animal in commercial pet trade.

Gila Monsters on the Move

Comment Here:

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)