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Photographer's Note

This is a Rock Monitor (Varanas albigularis) we found on the Moreshwe Pan in the Khutse Game Reserve. The Rock Monitor is a very large, stout lizard with a strong body, stocky limbs and sharp claws. Its tail is longer than its body, and I guess that this one was almost two metres long...

When we disturbed the Monitor it froze and lay very still like this. In defense it adopts a side-on position, and will lash out with its tail if you come too close.

I lay flat on the ground in front of it to take this photo. Later I found out that it was probably not a good idea, because when it bites you it holds on like a bulldog and doesn't let go! And the bacteria in its mouth will give you a very nasty infection too. This was taken at a focal length of 320mm.

I increased the saturation a bit, but tried to keep the colors as close to the original scene as possible. I struggled with the cropping of this photo, and any suggestions are more than welcome.

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Additional Photos by Henry Engelbrecht (henrye) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 675 W: 66 N: 432] (3500)
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