Gila monster

Gi·la monster

noun \ˈhē-lə-\

: a large orange and black poisonous lizard of the southwestern U.S.

Full Definition of GILA MONSTER

:  a large orange and black venomous lizard (Heloderma suspectum) of the southwestern United States; also :  a related lizard (H. horridum) of Mexico

Illustration of GILA MONSTER


Gila River, Arizona
First Known Use: 1877

Gi·la monster

noun \ˈhē-lə-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of GILA MONSTER

: a large orange and black venomous lizard of the genus Heloderma (H. suspectum) of the southwestern United States

Illustration of GILA MONSTER

Gila monster

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

One of the only two species (both in the family Helodermatidae) of venomous lizards, named for the Gila River basin and found in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. The Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) grows to about 20 in. (50 cm) long, is stout-bodied with black and pink blotches or bands, and has beadlike scales. During warm weather, it feeds at night on small mammals, birds, and eggs and stores fat in the tail and abdomen for the winter. It is sluggish but has a strong bite. The venom (a neurotoxin) is conducted along grooves in the teeth from glands in the lower jaw. Bites are rarely fatal to humans. The other venomous species is the Mexican beaded lizard (H. horridum).


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