Hi, the following is a report by Robert Medyk (editor) of "Biawak" the quarterly journal of Varanid Biology and Husbandry, posted with his kind permission from the Kingsnake.com website, during a discussion on intelligence in reptiles in general, and Varanids in particular..... Sources: Manrod, J.D., R. Hartdegen & G.M. Burghardt. 2008. Rapid solving of a problem apparatus by juvenile black-throated monitor lizards (Varanus albigularis albigularis). Animal Cognition 11(2): 267-273. Firth, I., M. Turner, M. Robinson & R. Meek. 2003. Response of monitor lizards (Varanus spp.) to a repeated food source; evidence for association learning? Herpetological Bulletin 84: 1-4. Gaalema, D.E. 2011. Visual discrimination and reversal learning in rough-necked monitor lizards (Varanus rudicollis). Journal of Comparative Psychology 125(2): 246-249. Horn, H.-G. 1999. Evolutionary efficiency and success in monitors: a survey on behavior and behavioral strategies and some comments. In H.-G. Horn & W. Boehme (eds.), Advances in Monitor Research II. Mertensiella 11, pp. 167-180. Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde e.V., Rheinbach. Krebs, U. 2007. On intelligence in man and monitor: observations, concepts, proposals. In H.-G. Horn, W. Boehme & U. Krebs (eds.), Advances in Monitor Research III. Mertensiella 16, pp. 44-58. Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde e.V., Rheinbach. Mendyk, R.W. & H.-G. Horn. 2011. Skilled forelimb movements and extractive foraging in the arboreal monitor lizard Varanus beccarii (Doria, 1874). Herpetological Review 42(3): 343-349. The last reference in this list documents an example of problem solving that I discovered in black tree monitors. Long story short (I can provide you with the full article if you'd like to read about this in greater detail), when V. beccarii were presented with prey items hidden inside of narrow openings too small for their heads to enter (holes drilled into tree limbs), the monitors switched from their conventional method of prey capture (seizure with the jaws) to utilizing a completely different set of motor skills to successfully extract prey from the holes through coordinated reaching forelimb movements. Here is some video footage depicting the behavior: While I consider the reaching forelimb movements themselves to have a genetic basis (instinctive), the thought process of switching from one foraging strategy to another and abandoning their primary method of prey capture (the jaws) represents a cognitive decision made by the monitor to solve a foraging dilemma (= "problem solving" ). Also interesting is the fact that depending on their body positioning, these animals will switch between use of their left and right forelimbs in order to reach deeper into tree holes to extract prey. This highlights yet another example of problem solving. I don't know about you, but I consider this to be pretty spectacular and exciting, as I am unaware of any other reptile which demonstrates this particular ability (not to mention the coordination/dexterity when extracting prey from embedded matrices). If anyone has examples of behaviors they feel are unusual/advanced, please give details. Thanks!