The water monitor is one of the largest lizards that ventures into salt water. It inhabits low-lying coasts, rivers and estuaries in south-east Asia, Indonesia and The Philippines.
It grows up to 2.7 metres (9 feet) in length and weighs up to 35 kg (75 lbs). It has a long neck, strong legs and a flattened tail that it lashes from side to side in the water.
The water monitor is a predator with a wide-ranging diet, feeding on anything that it can overpower, either onshore or in the water. In common with other monitors, the water monitor will also feed on carrion.
Water monitors are sometimes seen near human habitations, where they scavenge on discarded food waste.
The water monitor lays eggs which the female places at the end of a burrow.