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Beaded lizard

Heloderma horridum

Bearded lizard

The two best known venomous lizards are the gila monster and the beaded lizard. The venom glands are found in the reptile's lower jaw. The lizard chews its prey and the venom enters the prey along grooves in the lizard’s teeth.

The venom can be fatal to small mammals but rarely in humans. However, a painful swelling is common along with sweating and a rapid fall in blood pressure. The venom has been found to contain several enzymes useful for manufacturing drugs in the treatment of diabetes, and scientists are continuing to look at whether the venom can be used in the treatment of other diseases.

Animal class
Reptile

Habitat
Forest and tropical scrubland

Diet - Herbivore
Beaded lizard feed on eggs of reptiles and birds.

Size
The beaded lizard's body length is 80 centimetres and can weigh up to 8 kilograms.

Location
Beaded lizards are found from western Mexico to south east Guatemal.

Conservation status 
The IUCN (InternationalUnion for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) considers that the beaded lizard is not yet in danger of extinction

Threats
Deforestation and human persecution are the main threats to the beaded lizard. Forest fires, urban sprawl and road construction also pose threats.

Current population
At present the current population trend is declining.

Zoo population
There are around 350 beaded lizards in zoos world wide.