Jungle Leguaans in GURPS

Varanus ornatus

The jungle leguaan is commonly known in the west as the ornate monitor or ornate Nile monitor (a misnomer, for depsite a similar appearance, the jungle leguaan is quite a different beast from its water-loving cousin). This leguaan is robustly built, grey-black in color with striking yellow markings. The head is massive and boxy, boasting immense crushing power. Like all of Africa's leguaans, the teeth are sturdy peg-like cones rather than the steak-knife blades of other species in order to withsand the force of the bite.

Jungle leguaans inhabit the lush rain forests of Western Africa. Their vice-like jaws allow them to prey on hard shelled quarry such as crabs and snails, but like all goannas they devour anything they can cram into their mouths. Mammals, birds, and reptiles are killed by repeated crushing bites accompanied by vigorous thrashing and clawing. Typically, the skull is crushed after subduing the prey by biting and battering it. Jungle leguaans avoid people in the wild, slinking off to hide in their burrows or the lush growth of their chosen habitat until the danger passes.

Much of the habits of this beast are still unknown to wester science. In spite of this, hatchling jungle leguaans are often sold on the international pet market. Unfortunately, few buyers of these attractively marked little lizards are able to care for remarkably strong two meter predatory lizards that their new pets will eventually become.

Jungle leguaans often reach Medium or Large size as adults, a rare few become Huge.

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