Gila monsters are venomous lizards, indigenous to the North American continent. They are desert-dwellers, commonly found in the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of Mexico and the Southwestern US. They were first discovered in the Gila River Basin, located in Arizona, from which their name is derived. Currently, they are listed as a threatened species, due to growing human populations in the areas in which they are found.
[img_assist|nid=201601|title=Gila Monster|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=0|height=0]Named after the Gila River in Arizona, the Gila Monster is one of two venomous lizards in the world and is the largest lizard in the United States, measuring to around 22 inches long. The reptiles reside primarily in the Southwest: Arizona and Mexico as well as parts of California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico. The Gila Monsters are said to live between ten to twenty five years but spend most of their lives hidden underground. They prefer solitary dwelling in rocky foothills or semiarid regions of desert scrub, but surface in the late spring for a three month mating period.
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