Wild Lizard Chase

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The mertens monitors (V. mertensi) even became cheeky on occasion, trying to get into our bags to snatch whatever treat they could smell. Their sense of smell is amazing—they can detect odors right through layers of sand and mud. And they're savvy. One morning while filming at a lake in Australia's tropical north, we were caught off-guard by a bush fire. With the fire closing in, the mertens, including this one, remained calm—they knew what lay in store. Insects fleeing the smoke and flames soon began landing on the lake, where the mertens were waiting for them.

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