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Giant Gila MonsterApache folklore held that the Gila monster  (Heloderma suspectum) could kill a person with a single burst of its fetid breath, whilst some Californians believed that its larger cousin, the giant Gila monster  (Heloderma suspectum B.moviensis) was capable of consuming a carload of teenagers at a single sitting.

Other native American groups  thought that, despite its undoubted problems in the oral hygiene department, the Gila monster’s brightly patterned skin was a source of healing.

In a curious case of truth being stranger than fiction, it turns out that  Gila monster saliva contains a protein that improves blood glucose control, helps weight loss and might even improve memory.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve just started injecting myself with synthetic lizard saliva.

Gila monster

Gila monster. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Links: Gila Monster (Wikipedia)