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Black and White Tegu

 

A beautiful lizard from South America, the Black and White Tegu is considered the largest American lizard weighing nearly 20 pounds. It is generally a hunter of small prey animals including snakes, lizards, frogs, young birds, mice and insects. But occasionally, perhaps bored with this meager sized diet the Tegu hunts bigger prey, the 100 pound guinea pig relative, the capybara!

 Black and White Tegu

This Black and White Tegu is one of ours. Handsome devil isn’t he?

 (Photo maybe used without permission. Please credit Snakes-N-Scales and link back to this page. TX)

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 Certainly the Tegu could never eat the whole capybara and there is no evidence that any Black and White Tegu has ever killed one. Instead the tegu acts a parasite, it attacks the capy from the rear, launches itself up at the capy’s back, sinks in it’s teeth, tears our a lump of flesh and then retreats back into the forest. An animal that takes a meal from another without killing it, like a mosquito or a vampire bat is a parasite, not a predator.   Early 20th century artwork. Prior to widespread photo use in books, this is how the scientific world knew the Black and White Tegu, the average person would not have heard of them. 

 

Black and White Tegu

The Black and White Tegu can be a hand full!

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Black and White Tegu

This Black and White Tegu lost his tail to some accident with his previous owners and regrew it with us. You can see that the new one is not nearly as pretty as the old one.

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Black and White Tegu

Here you can see more clearly the regrown tail.

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Black and White Tegu

Mammals like cats and dogs are not alone in putting their back up when annoyed.

Reptile Birthday Party Passaic NJ

black and white tegu

An early 20th century illustration.

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black and white tegu illust

An early 20th century illustration.

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Black and White Tegu

Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

  Though they are quite good natured lizards most of the time, an angered Black and White Tegu could cause significant damage. Take note of the peg-like conical teeth that face backwards. When the mouth closes on an opponent or prey, the jaws are locked down tight. Escape is close to impossible.

BILL BOESENBERG

Author Bill Boesenberg 

https://www.facebook.com/SnakesNScalesTurtleTales 

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