Ridge Tailed Goannas in GURPS

Varanus acanthurus

Ridge tailed goannas are mid-sized lizards of Australia's deserts. Typically brown or rusty red in color, they are known for the short spines encircling their tails. Ridge tailed goannas are skilled excavators, digging complex tunnels for shelter. Their ridged tails are primarily used to block their tunnels or rock crevices in which they are taking refuge from predators (usually pythons) - the spiney appendage keeps even the most determined serpent away. The spines do make the tail a more effective club, however, and ridge tailed goannas do not hesitate to whack any who seem threatening.

Ridge tailed goannas eat mainly insects, with the occasional gecko or small skink thrown in for good measure. Their teeth are conical and recurved, perfect for grabbing and holding slippery or wiggly prey. They lack the recurved and serrated knife teeth of their larger relatives, and thus do not attack large prey.

In captivity, ridge tailed goannas become remarkably docile. They also are active and inquisitive, coming out to investigate any goings on or just to greet their keeper. This, combined with their small size makes them desired pets, and they are becoming well established in the pet trade (where they are called "ackies"). Ridge tailed goannas breed readily in captivity, none are taken from the wild to fuel this trade.

Ridge tailed goannas are typically Tiny or Small. On rare occasions, they have been known to reach Medium size.

Back to Varanoids