Gila monsters eat rodents, birds’ eggs and chicks, frogs, lizards, insects, and worms.
The Gila (HEE-la) monster is found in northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Its scary-sounding name comes mostly from the frightful fables people tell about it. It has been accused of spitting venom, stinging with its tongue, and even killing people with its poisonous breath! But while Gila monsters do have venom, they can’t spit or spray it.
A mighty bite
If a predator grabs a Gila monster, the lizard will turn and chomp down on it. Tiny grooves in the reptile’s teeth help venom flow into the victim. The lizard may also chew to allow venom to move deeper into the wound.
They are slow-moving animals, so a hunting Gila monster flicks its tongue to “smell” prey, then sneaks up on it. These lizards have powerful jaws, so once the reptile bites, prey can’t easily escape. Gila monsters swallow their food whole (but will bite down to break open eggs).