Giant plated lizard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Giant plated lizard
Giant Plated Lizard (Gerrhosaurus validus) (11688565126).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gerrhosauridae
Genus: Matobosaurus
M. validus
Binomial name
Matobosaurus validus
(A.Smith, 1849)
  • Gerrhosaurus validus

The giant plated lizard (Matobosaurus validus) is a lizard in the family Gerrhosauridae, which is found in dry to mesic habitats of southern Africa.[2] They are wary and stay close to their rocky retreats.[3]

Physical attributes[edit]

Close-up of breeding male
video of Matobosaurus validus in the Wuppertal, Germany zoo

A large lizard with a flattened head and body with a total length of up to 69 cm (27 in)[2][4] or even 75 cm (29.5 in)[5] and a snout-vent length (SVL) of 28 cm (11 in).[2] The soles of the feet have black rubber-like balls, an adaptation to living on rock outcrops. It is called the plated lizard because of the platelike scales on the back.[6] This lizard is very shy and hard to approach. When threatened, it will jam itself into rock crevices (aided by its flattened body) and inflate with air, making it impossible to extricate it.

It is omnivorous, consuming a fair amount of plant matter in addition to insects and even baby tortoises. It also tends to form loose colonies.[7]


  1. ^ Alexander, G.J., Bates, M.F. & Tolley, K.A. (2021). "Matobosaurus validus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2021: e.T13152292A139766941. Retrieved 16 November 2021.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c "Matobosaurus validus". The Reptile Database. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  3. ^ Pienaar, U. de V. (1978). The Reptile Fauna of the Kruger National Park. National Parks Board of South Africa. pp. 92–94. ISBN 0-86953-022-4.
  4. ^ "Giant plated lizard - SANBI".
  5. ^ "Epic's Interactive Blog: Reptiles found in the Kruger - The giant plated lizard". 3 December 2015.
  6. ^ [1] Archived February 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ FitzSimons, V. 1943. The Lizards of Southern Africa.