UTAH

Know of the Gila Monster? It’s may be the state’s first reptile

Jan 23, 2019, 6:10 PM | Updated: 7:47 pm
Two Utah State Representatives want to make it official with the Gila Monster. And by that, we mean...

Two Utah State Representatives want to make it official with the Gila Monster. And by that, we mean make it the official state reptile.

Right now, Utah doesn’t have a state reptile, so Representative Lowry Snow and Senator Don Ipson put forward the gila monster, found only in the Washington County area of the state.

Gila monsters can be 1-2 feet long — that’s about the size of a 2-year-old child. They’re actually the largest of all lizards here in the United States.

They have this large head with sausage-like tails, and they look as if they’re made up of beadwork — with patterns of black, orange, pink and yellow all over them.

One interesting thing about these reptiles is they have bad body odor.

They’re also one of the two most venomous lizards known to the U.S. They’re known for their quick speed and their clenching jaws. If you encounter one and get bit, don’t sweat it too much — their venom isn’t strong enough to kill you. It will just really, really hurt.

Despite the name, they’re not really monstrous. Mostly, they’re homebodies. They spent most of their lives hiding away, in burrows or under rocks.

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Know of the Gila Monster? It’s may be the state’s first reptile