Zoo Animals

Emerald Monitor

Emerald monitor

Varanus prasinus

At the Detroit Zoo
The emerald monitor can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the Detroit Zoo. There, visitors can learn about the 70 different species (and approximately 150 individuals) of reptiles at the Zoo, approximately 45 percent of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.

Emerald monitors are bright green with black cross bars down their backs. They can be seen with or without light blue flecks and have light to dark-yellow throats and bellies. As an arboreal monitor, their long, linear bodies and limbs, along with their fully prehensile tails, black rubbery foot pads and sharp needle-like nails, make them well suited for a life in the trees.

Fun Facts

  • The tails of the monitors are prehensile and works like a fifth foot. These reptiles sleep in the branches, holding on with one or two claws and their tails wrapped around a branch.