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.