Wednesday, September 17, 2014


A close relative to Komodo Dragon, Goanna lives mainly in Australia and Papua New Guinea. (Goanna is also the Australian name for the Monitor Lizards that live there.) In Australia, She fills the niche of predatory and scavenging Mammals. Not fussy, Goanna makes her home in monsoon woodlands, urban brush lands, and even cemeteries.

Noted for her well-developed limbs and deeply forked tongue that flicker in and out like a Snake's, Goanna is a distinctive looking Lizard. Long and stout, She has a tail that strikes out at her enemies. An active forager, Goanna digs out other Lizards, Insects, and small Mammals to eat.

This fierce looking Lizard is shy and timid but can be quite territorial and agressive when confronted. An excellent tree climber, Goanna will scoot up a tree trunk when danger threatens. Her reckless speed in escaping is legendary among Australians. They joke about scared Goannas racing up people’s legs thinking that they are trees. Australians advise to lie down when Goanna runs at you, and remember get treated for her bite. (It is not poisonous but can cause sickness.)

Among native Australians, Goanna is considered to be lazy. They tell stories of how ingenious Goanna was in climbing trees to get bark to make a canoe for sailing to Australia. However, when industrious Goanna arrived, She became lazy. She stopped farming and started stealing food from Echidna instead.

However, when She is confronted, Goanna races out of danger. Her most noteworthy characteristic is her speed, which serves Goanna well. Like Goanna, we can explore but be prepared to race away when danger threatens.

Goanna’s Teachings Include:
"Curiosity killed the cat but information brought the Goanna back." Goanna is forever looking into what is going on around it. Using its powerful body and legs, it climbs trees and rocks to find out what’s going on over there! Goanna’s tongue flashes back and forth from his mouth, as he tastes the air to find out who’s about. He calmly saunters along poking his nose into all manner of mischief but, forget not, that should Goanna feel the need for speed, there is nothing to see after the dust has cleared. Copyright: “Wisdom of Australian Animals,” Ann Williams-Fitzgerald.

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