A German man who was caught with 49 live lizards in his luggage at Munich airport claimed the creatures were for his dinner and even offered to bite the head off one to prove it.

The man was traveling back from Oman in the Middle East when customs officials discovered 31 spiny-tailed lizards and 18 other assorted breeds of lizard in his suitcase, Germany's DPA news agency reported.

The 28-year-old man claimed the reptiles were for his "personal food supply" and offered to eat one of the creatures in front of officials as proof.

"The traveler was even going to bite the head off of one of the spiny-tailed lizards under the eyes of customs officials," a spokesman said.

The lizards are now being cared for by veterinarians in Munich and are said to be doing fine.

The traveler may face a fine of several thousand euros for transporting protected animals.