Winners Photography Awards 2010
Andaman water monitor lizard by Umeed Mistry
It can grow to over three metres and propel itself in water using its very powerful tail, which is actually equipped with a fin-like extension. The Andaman water monitor lizard Varanus salvator andamanensis is a distinct sub-species of the more common water monitor and is endemic to the islands. Its muscular body and ability to move surprisingly fast on land and in water makes it a fearsome predator across Asia, from Sri Lanka, and India all the way to Indochina, the Malay Peninsula and some islands off Indonesia. Fossil records and their present geographic distribution suggest that varanids arose over 65 million years ago in Laurasia and subsequently dispersed to Africa and Australia.