A perentie monitor lizard

Perentie

Perenties are the largest of all the Australian monitor lizards, measuring an impressive 2.5 metres. They can run incredibly fast either on all fours, or just their hind legs. If threatened, they distend a large neck pouch and expel a rattling hiss. Should this dramatic display fail, the perentie lunges forward and strikes its opponent before quickly turning and fleeing to hide in the nearest rocky crevice or burrow. They can even bring down smaller species of kangaroo.

Scientific name: Varanus giganteus

Rank: Species

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Perentie taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Perentie can be found in a number of locations including: Australia. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Perentie distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Desert Desert
Desert and dry scrubland describes any area that receives less than 250mm of rainfall a year. Not just the endless, baking sand dunes of popular conception, it includes arid areas in temperate regions.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.