Gila Monster

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Gila Monster

Post by gslaten »

I came upon this Gila Monster in a dry wash behind the house this afternoon. They are rarely seen in the wild, and by the time I came to my senses and retrieved the camera, he had hidden in some brush. Unfortunately, he was not particularly cooperative, and rather unhappy with me. The photo isn't particularly good, but the best I was able to get before he disappeared under a pile of lumber. I didn't even think to check the camera settings before shooting. He was about 18" long. I thought it might be interesting.


Canon EOS 5D
Canon 28-200 mm
1/2500 sec
ISO 1600

Thanks for looking,


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Post by Beetleman »

Very interesting you said, I have never seen a wild Gila monster picture, always captive reptiles. I think it a great picture, very hot and deserty looking (is that a word?) It`s way to hot here to take pictures...I always get sweat on my Camera when it is this hot.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda
Canon PowerShot S1 IS with Canon 250D closeup lens

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Post by Ken Ramos »

I think I can relate to that thing, in terms of hot, dusty, and dry. To tell the truth I don't think I have ever seen one of these in the zoos that I have been in. :-k Of course that was a long time ago and more than likely I was looking at the girls more than the animals :!: :roll: Nice shot Gary, it's a little hot on the whites but when you're in a hurry, you take what you can get. :wink:
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Kens Microscopy
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Post by gslaten »

Hi Doug and Ken,

Doug, I am surprised it gets that hot in New Hampshire. I have only been there once, and there was snow on the ground. Thanks for the compliment.

Ken, yes, I agree with you on the hot whites, but as you say, you takes what ya gets. Thanks.


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Post by MikeBinOKlahoma »

Good spotting, even if technically not superb. I'd love to see one of these in the wild.
Mike Broderick
"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul.....My mandate includes weird bugs."--Calvin

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Post by twebster »

Hi ya' Gary, :D

It is unusual to see gila monsters out and about in daylight. Most of the time they are in rodent burrows during the day. Here's a little trick I use to locate reptiles during the day. I carry a small camp mirror made of polished stainless steel in my camera bag. You can buy these in any sporting goods store that has camping gear. Early in the morning and late in the day, reptiles that are normally nocturnal, like the gila monster, will sit just inside rodent burrows waiting for the sun to go down and the temperatures to cool. I use the mirror to reflect sunlight down the rodent burrow and illuminate whatever might be waiting to leave the burrow. I've managed to see quite a few gila monsters using this trick. I learned this trick from a friend in college who was working on his phD on gila monsters. Give it a try. :D

Best regards, :D
Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

Think about this...maybe Murphy is an optimist!!!