Komodo Dragon Facts
- The Komodo Dragon represents a large species of lizard found on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar, in Asia.
- A member of the monitor lizard family, the Komodo Dragon serves as the largest living species of lizard on earth.
- Individuals typically grow to a maximum length of 10 ft (3 m) and weigh as much as 200 lbs (91 kg).
- However, an average adult male weighs roughly 150 lbs (68.2 kg) and measures 8.5 ft (2.6 m) in length.
- An average female will weigh 143 lbs (65 kg), and measure 7.5 ft (2.3 m) in length.
Komodo Dragon Toxicity
The Komodo Dragon remains a rather a unique animal. It has a tail as long as its body, as well as about 60 frequently replaced, serrated teeth that can measure up to 1 in (2.5 cm) in length.
It also possesses a long, yellow, deeply forked tongue. The saliva of the Komodo Dragon is frequently blood-tinged because its teeth are almost completely covered by gingival tissue that is naturally lacerated during feeding.
This creates an ideal culture for the bacteria that live in its mouth. As a unique result, the non-venomous Komodo Dragon actually possesses a toxic bite, due to the extreme amount of bacteria present in its saliva.
Komodo Dragon Natural Armor
The Komodo Dragon has extraordinarily tough skin that is reinforced by naturally occurring armored scales.
This natural armor contains tiny bones called osteoderms that function as a sort of natural chain-mail.
The Komodo Dragon prefers hot and dry places and typically lives in dry, open grassland, savanna, and tropical forest at low elevations.
As an ectotherm, it is most active in the day, although it exhibits some nocturnal activity. Komodo Dragons are solitary, coming together only to breed and eat.
Komodo Dragon Feeding Habits
The Komodo Dragon is a powerful carnivore. Although it eats mostly carrion, individuals will also ambush live prey with a stealthy approach. When suitable prey arrives near a dragon’s ambush site, it will suddenly charge at the animal and go for the underside or the throat.
The reptile remains able to locate its prey using its keen sense of smell, which can locate a dead or dying animal from a range of up to 6 miles (9.5 km).
This amazing reptile has been observed knocking down large pigs and deer with its strong tail. To prevent itself from suffocating while swallowing, it breathes using a small tube under the tongue that connects to the lungs.
These large lizards may consume as much as 80% of their pre-meal body weight in one feeding.