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TupinambisTegus (genus Tupinambis) are relatively large, South American lizards convergent on the monitor lizards of the Old World. Predominantly carnivorous, especially when young, these lizards feed on a variety of prey items from arthropods to eggs and small mammals . Avid burrowers, the two larger species (T. merianae and T. rufescens) hibernate through the winter yearly . Among the more intelligent lizards, tegus have been observed maintaining territories and establishing loose social groups, especially immediately before and after hibernation . Although scant, tegus do possess a fossil record extending back several million years .