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Savannah or Tegu

Discussion in 'Lizards - General' started by Azfishfool, May 12, 2009.

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  1. Azfishfool

    Azfishfool Active Member

    Looking at a large lizard but can't really decide what would be a better beginner large lizard. I can build a large outdoor enclosure for when its larger and I don't mind having a large indoor enclosure either. Looking for something that is handleable and somewhat tame doesn't have to be dog tame but would prefer not get whipped and bit everytime we interact
     
  2. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    Savs do not whip and won't bite if tamed appropriately. However an outdoor enclosure in Arizona worries me a bit. They require a higher ambient humidity than I think is available in Arizona.
     
  3. Azfishfool

    Azfishfool Active Member

    that's why I said I don't mind an indoor enclosure either. I am not gonna put the animal in an area that will be detrimental to it. Also have you owned an adult tegu and an adult savannah? just want answers from both sides of the fence.
     
  4. battlemetal

    battlemetal Active Member

    I've never kept a tegu and honestly, I probably never will. But if your looking for a beginner monitor, a sav is not the way to go. Savanna monitors are highly underestimated. They require huge amounts of space, food and substrate. All of those small, cuddly savs you see on you tube are kept in horrible, cold conditions and fed poor diets. That's what makes them look so docile. The only varanid I would consider 'beginner' material is an ackie monitor. The initial cost may be high at around $200 but the cost of keeping them will be much less.
    Anyways, You can have an outdoor enclosure during the warmer months. I keep my argus monitor outdoors. His enclosure is sealed up so it stays warm even during the winter. It's a matter of how you build the enclosure that will determine whether it's too cold or not.
    I've never kept any of the lizards you mentioned. I do know, however, that you will not find anything tame about a monitor. They will bite, scratch, hiss, and tail whip if given the chance. You can never 'tame' a reptile but you can build a trust with them. Eventually they will see you as a necessity, someone that cleans up and feeds them. Don't try and force handle them, it'll cause unneeded stress for the monitor and it will never trust you. Monitors build a he11 of a grudge. Believe me. Don't try and 'tame' whatever you decide to get and both of you will have a much better experience.
    Check this out.
    This is my male argus monitor, he is my second monitor. My first was a nile, I don't have that one anymore.
    He is in a custom 8x4x4 enclosure, he is 4ft.
    I've made a few changes to his enclosure since these pictures but these are the most recent.
    Enjoy and good luck on your choice.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    (Quote) "You will never find anything tame about a monitor"?? how long have you been keeping Varanids, and how come you haven`t managed to "tame" any?? These animals are extremely responsive to gentle treatment, especially if kept from young.... If you`re talking about trying to tame an adult, I agree, very difficult!!
     
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Even monitors that have been abused and neglected will eventually "tame down" after some work. I know, I've done it with a Savannah. It was my task to tame a very people-hating monitor so that it could be handled by dozens of people without incident (and medicate it for burns and systemic infections). When it first came to our care, it hissed if you even looked at it. Trying to pet it guaranteed biting and lunging. Picking it up, you got pooped on every time without fail.

    Now (1 year later) after many hours spent with her, she is quite tame - perfectly contend to be handled, or spend an hour sitting on your lap, or going for a walk with you, especially on warm sunny days.

    Sure, it's some work, but it can definitely be done.
     
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    He`s a beautiful specimen, how long have you been keeping him? Also do you know the sub-species? Thanks!
     
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    While I wholeheartedly agree with the poster regarding the nonsense that you see on that site, it is possible to socialize a savanna.
    I had a friend who had a big male that was indeed dog tame! She took him everywhere!
     
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Dragoness, some species can be more "wary" than others when first aquired, most water monitors, V. salvator are very calm when young, but others are quite the opposite, my V.ornatus took 3months before he stopped biting, scratching and tail-whipping.... he was 12.5 inches long! I`ve kept many species of Varanid over the years, ALL of them became extremely tame ( ridiculously so!) One of my friends has a very large V. salvadorii which feeds from his hand, the same as my ornatus does. V. salvadorii is thought to be the longest monitor, supposed to reach 12feet or more, but most of that is tail! ( They haven`t found one that length yet.)
     
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I thought that title belonged to the Komodo.
     
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    No, komodoensis is the largest living Varanid, because of the weight... salvadorii is thought to be the longest....An extict monitor, Varanus priscus was believed to reach around 7meters! ( 23ft.) I`m giving you all my secrets Merlin, I`m just tooo kind for my own good! :)
    P.S. Some people believe V. priscus still exists in the bush somewhere!! ( Australia, that is.) There`s a skeleton in Sydney Museum.
     
  12. Azfishfool

    Azfishfool Active Member

    I'm still debating, I have looked and ackies are fairly expensive and hard to come by in Az I know the expense will level out with feeding though. I like how the timor looks as I have seen one in person but have been told and read that they aren't good beginner monitors. I have seen savannahs and tegus out here and those seem like the most logical case as they are available, affordable and from what I have read the most easy going of the bigger lizards
     
  13. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I think you`ll be o.k. with a savannah monitor, they can get to around 4ft., and are fairly easy to tame, especially from young...You need to get as much info. as possible before you get the animal, then you can get everything just right, there`s lots of info. on this species; Timor monitors grow to around 2feet, these are "pygmy monitors". When you`ve made your mind up, let us all know, I`m sure you`ll get lots of good advice, and by the way, it`s better for the monitor and you to have a tame animal! Good luck!
     
  14. agama3000

    agama3000 Elite Member

    I would choose a sav because they are smaller and less strong so if
    you did get bit it would be less savvier
     
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi agama3000, these (savannah) monitors when full grown could easily break bones in your hand, they are very powerful animals, but when raised from young, they usually quicky become very tame, you`re right, not as strong as the bigger species of monitor, but ALL monitors, from the smallest to the largest are probably stronger than other "lizards" of similar size, in some ways they are like the "super athletes" of the reptile world....
     
  16. agama3000

    agama3000 Elite Member

    I know but the point is is that that savs are still weaker that a tegu...I am pretty sure the point got across ...right;)
     
  17. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    The monitor is more powerful, has more stamina, and similar to snakes, is pure muscle from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail...Tegu`s of the same size would NOT match a varanid in this way!! But yes!, Tegus are still strong animals, and could do serious damage if they bit you!! ;)
     
  18. agama3000

    agama3000 Elite Member

    but are tegu faster....I always thought that the savs where weaker
     
  19. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    The tegu cannot keep up with a monitor of equal size, because tegus like most other reptiles, use "anaerobic respiration" the monitors use mainly "aerobic resp.": This means the tegu builds up high levels of lactic acid, so it very quickly gets tired...The monitors ( when active) don`t build up these high levels as quickly, so they can be very active for much longer, they also have lungs much larger and more efficient than other reptiles, and a much more efficient heart. Also, the monitor can run and breath at the same time, most other "lizards" can`t do that. If you keep asking questions you`ll soon learn about the differences between these animals! :)
     
  20. agama3000

    agama3000 Elite Member

    so a tegu has power and a monitor has speed and power which will make it mare deadly
     
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