Tree Crocodile Monitors in GURPS

Varanus salvadorii

The natives of New Guinae speak in hushed tones of a forest dragon they call Artrellia. The creature to which they refer is a goanna which westerners call the tree crocodile. This elongated lizard spends much of its time in the trees. While its body is similar in appearance to other monitors, its tail is of extraordinary length, easily over 150% of its body length. Its head, meanwhile, has a characteristic bulbous snout. Its high skull gives the depth necessary to keep its unusually long teeth sheathed when its mouth is closed. The Artrellia is very dark green-brown in color, speckled with yellow, giving an overall greenish appearace.

Very little is known about the lifestyle of the tree crocodile in the wild. Even its diet is unknown, some suspect it takes many birds due to its arboreal habits, but captive specimens seem to prefer rats over quail. The natives are frigtened of it, however, and will often refuse to accompany expaditions looking for this monster regardless of the pay. Many say it lies in wait for its victims, leaping down on them from above. In captivity, it is usually shy and retiring, but unpredictable. Keepers need to be always vigilant with this species to avoid a quick bite or a savage leap from up high.

Tree crocodile monitors are typically Medium or large size as adults, exceptional specimens can get Huge. If the legends of the natives are true, however, the true monsters of this species can be Giant, Humongus, or even Immense.

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