WHAT'S FOR DINNER?
Gila Monsters leave
their hibernation in the spring and engage in foo gathering. They
are known to eat eggs out of other vertebrates nests, rodents, baby birds, frogs and
lizards, and other small mammals including squirrels and rabbits
- sometimes whole! The Gila Monster does not drink any water.
Therefore, its food must provide all its nutrients.
hungry are they?
Gila Monsters do not feast very
frequently. In fact, they can eat up to
35% their body weight! Three to four
large meals in the spring can usually
store enough energy for the whole year!
This is possible because they have very
low metabolic rates and can store a lot
of the gained energy in their tails.
time for the Gila Monster to get its full meals
is during summertime. This is because their
main source of food, the eggs, is most
Gila Monsters do not have great eye
sight, instead they use their sense of taste to track down prey. They
follow the preys scent by simply flicking their forked tongue to grab scent particles left behind on the trail. If the Gila Monster catches a recent scent, they
will continue to follow the trail. When the prey is within close distance, the Gila Monster will
sneak close and attack. It will grab its prey
and clamp down
with its rounded teeth. The teeth on a Gila Monster are curved back for the
ability to grip the prey. The Gila Monster remains clamped for minutes at a time to chew the venom into the open wounds. The venom of
a Gila Monster is slowly oozed into the prey through the grooves located on the inside of the lower teeth. The venom usually hurts the prey by
attacking their nervous system allowing the Gila Monster to eat the
PROCESSING AND CIRCULATORY SYSTEM:
Since the Gila Monster usually only eats in the spring, the intestinal track has
to go through changes. The intestinal track goes through a state of
fasting in the winter. When spring comes and the Gila Monster eats
very large amounts of food at a time, the intestinal track has to change to a
feeding and processing function. The saliva of the Gila Monster has a
digestive enzyme called exendin-4. This helps slow the metabolic rates of
the lizard and allows it to store the energy in its fatty tail. Gila
Monsters are cold blooded and have a closed circulatory system.