Monitor lizard & venomous snake at Pasir Ris Park use their tongues to check each other out

What a great moment.

Zi Shan Kow | January 10, 2022, 09:24 PM

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Sometimes we catch wild animals doing strange things.

Photographer William Khaw captured one such scene between two native reptiles and shared it on the Facebook Group Singapore Wildlife Sightings on Dec. 22 2021.

Khaw had encountered the meeting of a monitor lizard and an equatorial spitting cobra at Pasir Ris Park.

He then photographed the perfect moment as the two almost touched their forked tongues.

Photo by William Khaw

Smelling each other

Reptiles like monitor lizards and snakes use their tongues to smell their surroundings by picking up scent particles.

While the monitor lizard's long blue tongue reached the snake's face, the much-smaller cobra stood erect to face the monitor lizard head-on, and flared its hood as part of its defensive display.

Although Khaw was "hoping for some action", he told Mothership said that the monitor lizard backed off, gave the snake a wide berth, and walked away.

Which is also the recommended course of action if we should stumble upon a snake.

Photo by William Khaw

Snake is highly venomous

The equatorial spitting cobra is a venomous native species found throughout Singapore.

While its bite may be fatal, it is not usually aggressive if left alone, according to Ecologyasia.

It is named for its ability to spray venom into the eyes of the aggressor, which can cause permanent damage to the tissues surrounding the eye.

So while the monitor lizard appeared to have the upper-hand, it might have been wiser for it look for better prey elsewhere instead.

Screenshot from Singapore Wildlife Sightings/Facebook.

Screenshot from Singapore Wildlife Sightings/Facebook.

Top images by William Khaw/Singapore Wildlife Sightings.