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Tegus (genus Tupinambis) are relatively large, South American lizards convergent on the monitor lizards of the Old World. Predominantly carnivorous, especially when young, these lizards feed on a variety of prey items from arthropods to eggs and small mammals [1]. Avid burrowers, the two larger species (T. merianae and T. rufescens) hibernate through the winter yearly [2]. Among the more intelligent lizards, tegus have been observed maintaining territories and establishing loose social groups, especially immediately before and after hibernation [2]. Although scant, tegus do possess a fossil record extending back several million years [3].


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© Jonathan Mitchell

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