Glasgow Zoo Park
Glasgowzoo has now closed these pages are for information only
Glasgow Zoopark currently stock the following:

Banded Gila Lizard Heloderma suspectum cinctum
Bosc Monitor Varanus exanthematicus
Great Plated Lizard Gerrhosaurus major
Monitor Lizard Varanus indicus
Palm Gecko Gecko vittatus
Sailfin Lizard Hyrosaurus amboinensis

We have details of the following lizard although currently we do not stock them: Rhinoceros Iguana

The iguanas are particularly interesting. We feel strongly that iguana enclosures should first and foremost be large, to permit these long-lived and alert animals a near normal and interesting lifestyle.

There are two species of poisonous lizard in the world, the Gila Monster and Mexican Beaded Lizard both to be seen here at Glasgow Zoopark.


Green Iguana

Photos by Andy Smyth, Photographer. ©

These lizards are desert-living, retiring animals from Central America, with warning coloration to discourage attackers. The swollen tail is a fat store for lean times - a frequent adaptation in desert-living species. The venom is potent, but only effective following a continued " scrunching " by the lizard's back teeth.

Gila monsters live a very long time - twenty, thirty years are easily possible and, once they mature, the pink or yellow markings do not change and the animal can be individually identified in perpetuity.

Much work has gone into understanding breeding behaviour and, in 1991, one female laid a clutch of six eggs. All of these hatched - a remarkable achievement - and the young did very well.

This follows on from the highlight of 1989 which was the hatching of four Reticulated Gila monsters. For this we qualified for the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland, First Breeding in Captivity award (although in the end we had to share it with London Zoo who hatched two young ones at about the same time). These hatchings represent many years of work by the Zoological Society of Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

Skin Shedding

Humans shed their skin, but not all at once, and so too do all lizards, but unlike human's a lizard's skin does not stretch as the animal grows . This means a lizard has to get rid of its skin of hard scales and grow another one. This is done several times each year, and some lizards will shed also in the breeding season replacing their old skin with brightly coloured skin to attract a mate.

Iguanas As Pets

Tales of Dragons in Scotland