Fun Fact Friday - Gila monsters - Tucson News Now

Fun Fact Friday - Gila monsters

Gila monster (Source: See, Snap, Send it/guillermoe1031) Gila monster (Source: See, Snap, Send it/guillermoe1031)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

1 - A component of their venom (Exendin-4) has been approved by the FDA to be used in a new drug called Byetta which helps in the treatment of type-2 diabetes.

2 - The Tohono O'odham and the Pima believed that Gila monsters possessed a spiritual power capable of causing sickness. The Apache believed that its very breath could bring death, while the Seri and Yaqui believed in the healing powers of the lizard's hide.

3 - A group of these lizards is called a lounge, which is appropriate since they love to lie around and soak up the sun's rays.

4- Currently, there is no antivenom for Gila monster bites. The first step to treatment is making the lizard let go. A strong stick to pry apart the jaws is recommended. If bitten, you should seek immediate medical attention.

5- Gilas use their big tails for balance while they walk.

6- Gila monsters can only run about 1 mph.

(Facts from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum). 

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