Perentie

Varanus giganteus

The perentie is the largest monitor lizard or goanna native to Australia, and fourth-largest living lizard on earth, after the Komodo dragon, the crocodile monitor, and the water monitor. Found west of the Great Dividing Range in the arid areas of Australia, they are not a common sight because of their shyness and the remoteness of much of their range from human habitation.

Their status in indigenous Aboriginal culture is evident in the totemic relationships, and part of a dreaming, as well as bush tucker. They were a favoured food item among desert Aboriginal tribes, and the fat was used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. Many are depicted in Aboriginal art and their accompanying stories such as the pieces ‘Goanna Calling for Rain’ and ‘How the Perentie and Goanna got their Colours’.

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