Two male monitor lizards brought traffic to a halt on a busy street in a bizarre and kind of cute display.
The incident occurred on a Thailand roadway when a driver named Kot Thanatpan came across two reptiles caught in an incredibly intense embrace. To the driver, it seemed like a passionate moment between two mating monitor lizards. So, he snapped a video of the two as they seemed to dance across the road before he continued on his way.
It wasn’t until later, though, that Thanatpan found out that the display was something very different.
“I had to adjust to avoid them. I thought they were boyfriends and girlfriends at first but then someone told they were actually fighting,” Thanatpan told Newsflare, Now This News reported.
As it turns out, monitor lizards’ embrace is actually more like a hug-of-war. Both males are fighting over the territory, and to win, they have to wrestle their opponent to the ground. These reptiles will also battle it out for mating rights of a nearby female, but in this case, there doesn’t seem to be any lady in waiting.
Check out the intense (and adorable) match.
Monitor Lizards Have Similar Battle as Timber Rattlesnakes
Monitor lizards aren’t the only reptile species that have a rather romantic way of battling with competitors. Timber rattlesnakes, too, tangle up with their opponents to the point where it seems they’re actually mating, rather than competing to mate.
Take, for example, this pair that a witness in Giles County, Tennessee found in the thick of the woods. Just a few yards away, the two males intertwined with each other, reaching high into the air as they swayed back and forth just like the monitor lizards. If you weren’t familiar with the snake’s ritual behavior, you might think this, too, was an intimate moment.
Likewise, a hiker in North Carolina caught sight of a different rattle battle taking place alongside the trail.
“In the video I assume they are a mating pair but when I posted to a Snake Education Group on Facebook I learned that they were actually a pair of males fighting for mating rights to a female that was close by but never saw,” Hooper told News 13 in a Facebook message.
Just like with the monitor lizards, it’s not quite clear which rattlesnake won either battle. Tete-a-tete’s like these can last a while, so seeing one of these reptiles actually conquer its competitor is a pretty rare sight.
Still, the North Carolina mom was just as happy to see such a bizarre and wild event on her casual hike. With her sons in tow, she said it was “a great educational opportunity for my young boys.”