Beaded Lizard, Gila Monster





The only other venomous reptile found in the United States is the beaded

lizard, called Gila monster (pronounced heela). Unless you visit the

desert regions of Arizona and New Mexico, you will not be apt to run

across this most interesting though poisonous reptile.



The Gila monster looks very much like a unique piece of Indian beadwork,

with its fat body and stubby legs covered with bright-colored, bead-like

tubercles, which form almost a Navajo pattern. Its length is about

nineteen inches, and its beads are colored salmon, flesh-pink, white or

yellow, and black. Though it has the appearance of being stuffed with

cotton, it is really formidable and very much alive. Its jaws are

strong; when it bites it holds on like a bulldog, and there is no way to

force it to open its mouth except to pry the powerful jaws apart. While

otherwise slow of movement, it will turn quickly from side to side,

snapping viciously. The inside of the Gila's mouth is black, and when

angry it opens it wide and hisses.





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