Gila Monsters are one of only two venomous lizards in the entire world. If you come across one, you will want to keep your distance and you definitely don't want to touch them because they will bite you. A Gila Monster bite is definitely not a good thing. When it bites, it chews in order to release its venom. Its jaws are very strong, so when it bites its jaws are very hard to open.
The Gila Monster is the first venomous animal in North America to get legal protection. You should not reposition, or handle a Gila Monster and it is illegal to collect, kill, or sell them in the state of Arizona.
Gila Monsters are very brightly colored and they have different color patterns. For a lizard, I think they are quite pretty. There were a couple of times, when I was younger, that I came across them when I walked home from the school bus stop. Now-a-days it seems that they are pretty rare to see.
And here's an interesting fact for you...
A component of Gila Monster venom (Exendin-4) has been approved by the FDA to be used in a drug called Byetta which helps in the treatment of type-2 diabetes.
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|Photo by dandalff|