The desert monitor is a lizard I wanted to see. Getting over 4 feet long they are the largest of Iraq's lizards. They make quite an entrance when they happen to fall into your foxhole in the middle of the night as happened to several soldiers in both the Gulf War and the current war.
I recently found a nice picture from Tallil Airbase in the southern part of the country. I never came across one myself. The only monitor I've ever seen in the wild was a water monitor in Indonesia. Some of the desert monitor's relatives are giants. The Komodo Dragon from Indonesia is the largest living relative weighing several hundred pounds. An extinct Australian species (Megalania prisca) was even bigger at almost 20 feet long.
A juvenile Desert Monitor from Tallil Airbase near Ad Nasiriyah, Iraq.
The ruins of the ancient city of Ur, one of the world's first cities and the birthplace of the prophet Abraham are next to the base. Perhaps this lizard's ancestors were getting caught by the ancient Sumerians or a young Abraham.
The Rare and Elusive Iraqi Pineapple/Watermelon Crocodile as seen at DFAC 2, LSA Anaconda - Thanksgiving 2004.