Varanus dracopellis ("dragon's skin monitor") is a red, black-striped, crested, cliff-dwelling varanid from the coastal cliffs of Skull Island. It measures 2-3 feet long. The animal is described in the book "The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island" (2005).


Dragon's skin monitors were striking monitor lizards that recently colonized the island but had evolved into a new species. Having likely arrived on rafts of vegetation or driftwood from somewhere in Southeast Asia, they developed brilliant red scales that were even more vivid in the breeding season. The precise function of the markings is not clear, though it may have been to startle predators. Both sexes were brighly colored. Dragon's skin monitors fed on eggs and small creatures they found along the rocky shore and on the cliffs they nimbly climbed.

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