I know, I’ve used this Crocodile Dundee phraseology before. I’ve used it in You Call That a Mushroom? This is a Mushroom! I’ve also used this misquote in my post called Call That a Park? This Is a Park!
Then in my post about the Akubra Hat, I included the video of Crocodile Dundee from the film, and that shows I’ve got the quote totally wrong anyway.
But I’m going to stick with it, and it’s very suitable for the subject of today’s post….
Goannas are also known as monitor lizards. Around these parts, one of the more common species is called a lace monitor, sometimes referred to simply as lacies.
They are very big lizards indeed. The lacie is one of the bigger ones, and can grow up to 2 metres in length.
In an ideal world, I would have really loved to have seen one of these creatures in the wild, taking photographs and even video footage to put here on Bobinoz. I’ve been here over five years now though and sadly, I’ve not yet seen one…… yet.
They are about though, I have heard of two sightings just about 3 kilometres away from where I live, close to the river and in amongst a bit of bush down that way.
There are quite a few other places to see them around Brisbane, for example, the D’Aguiler National Park which, by coincidence, you can read about in the already mentioned Call That a Park? This Is a Park!
You might also come across a goanna on Stradbroke Island, Bribie Island, Mount Coot-tha, Mount Mee and further away, Springbrook National Park.
All up, around the world, there are 30 different species of goanna, Australia has 25 of them, 19 of those can be found here in Queensland. Goannas can be found all over Australia, except for Tasmania.
Here in Brisbane, we have three species; the already mentioned Lace Monitor, then we have Gould’s Goanna and the Yellow-spotted Monitor.
They are beautiful creatures, as you will see in a minute, and they can run really fast too. Apparently, if they want to run really really fast, they have been known to sprint over short distances on just their hind legs.
These guys were lucky enough to see one when they were camping…
Goannas tend to keep their distance from humans, although they will get close if there is food about. If they get spooked though, they will run off, but if cornered, or if they feel threatened, they will rear up and puff themselves out a bit and hiss.
A bit like the blue tongued lizard.
If provoked, they could also give you a nasty bite. There is also growing popularity for the theory that goannas are venomous; those who have been bitten do bleed more than you would expect. Research is now looking into whether this venom can be used in the control of high blood pressure.
They will also get rather cheesed off if you try and pick one up. They have very powerful claws, which they usually use for climbing trees, but can use in other ways as Andrew Ucles found out…
Yes, that was one of those “don’t try this at home” videos, if you see a goanna running away from you, I suggest you just let it go.
Despite the pain caused to Andrew by this goanna, well he did ask for it, I think these creatures are one of Australia’s little beauties.