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Komodo Dragon

 

Komodo Dragons  

 

Komodo dragons still continue to populate the active imaginations of many people. Although it is far from being the fire-breathing dragon of fiction, it does have some traits that justify the awe that people have for Komodo dragons.  

 

Komodo Dragon Origins 

 

Despite their name, komodo dragons are not really dragons but monitor lizards. The earliest ancestors of these lizards have been around for millions of years long before the ice age. The current origin account of the komodo dragon states that the species came to live exclusively in its current habitat because its access to other land masses was cut off after the ice age and the separation of sections of land. Fortunately for the species, their habitats did not have any other large animal predators. The komodo dragons therefore quickly came to occupy the top of the food pyramid.  

 

Despite having been around for a very long time, the species was only brought to the attention of the rest of the world in the early 1900s. It was officially made known to the scientific community on 1912.  

 

The species got its name from one of the Indonesian islands of its origin, Komodo. It has however also been found to inhabit other Indonesian islands namely, Gili Motang, Rinca, Gili Dasami and Flores. 

 

Komodo Dragon Size and Weight 

 

Aside from skin and appearance that are typical of lizards, komodo dragons have their own unique traits. First of all, they are generally regarded as the largest lizards on earth. Full grown komodo dragons can easily go over six feet with others reaching eight to ten feet. At this length, they can weigh anywhere between 150 lbs. to 200 lbs. Komodo dragons can grow up to this size despite being born at under two feet. They have a keen sense of smell that compensates for their limited hearing. They also have serrated teeth that are perfectly suited for their meat diet and eating habits.  

                                                                                                                    

Komodo Dragon Eating Meat

 

A Komodo Dragon's Diet 

 

Komodo dragons are meat eaters. Most of the time, they eat animals that are already dead. They have however, also been known to swiftly attack prey that pass along. The diet of komodo dragons may include such animals as deer, goats, birds, pigs and its own young among others. It eats its food by tearing chunks of it with its serrated teeth. They swallow chunks of food without chewing. In some cases, food may be swallowed bodily with some komodo dragons attempting to ram the food down.  

 

Once a victim has been bitten by a komodo dragon, its life remains in danger even if it does not die instantly. The saliva of komodo dragons is filled with various strains of bacteria that can cause infection. Animals that have been bitten may die after a few days. Humans however have been known to survive bites.  

 

Today, komodo dragons are considered a vulnerable species. Aside from its naturally harsh environment that makes survival challenging, human activity such as poaching has also contributed to the decline of their population. Conservation efforts continue to help promote the survival of the species.

                                                                                                                  

 

  

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