Goannas, jarjay in Jirrbal, are also known as monitor lizards. They earned this name because they warned of the presence of crocodiles as they monitored for this danger. Goannas are more intelligent than other lizards and have a higher metabolism. Some are able to increase their body
temperature by two degrees like mammals. Unlike other lizards, their tongues are forked.
The spotted tree monitor is often heard by visitors to the wet tropics but rarely seen. It reaches only about 60cm in length. It likes to bask in the sunlight but when disturbed rushes off climbing a nearby tree to escape making a scrabbling sound in the leaf litter as it goes.