An evolutionary relic with strange eyes, a saliva-dripping mouth, and an interesting gait – meet the biggest living lizard on earth!
These modern-day dinosaurs are short-legged, muscular, stocky, and covered with scales that protect like armor. They use their tongue like snakes.
Komodo dragons occur in 8 subpopulations on the volcanic islands of Indonesia, with old remnants of the Asian and Australasian plates; these islands are one of the world’s most biologically important regions.
Scavenging from carcasses but can kill animals as large as goats, sharp claws at the end of their powerful paws and jaws with razor-sharp teeth make them the apex predators on these islands. Small isolated populations and the loss of natural prey to human hunters are major risks for Komodos.
Did you know?
- Their gums conceal their teeth, so one cannot see them until they are in use.
- Komodo dragons are venomous; their jaws have potent venom that is anticoagulant.
- They are fast and can reach speeds of 20km/h (13 mph)
- They have a strong sense of smell and can detect prey or rotting meat from around 4 km (2.5 miles).
- Their tails, which are about the same length as their bodies and are exceptionally strong, can be employed as an additional limb.
- They are an important part of local culture.
- There appears to be illicit trade in this species for the zoo trade, as they make excellent exhibits.
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Terrestrial / Aquatic
Altricial / Precocial
Polygamous / Monogamous
Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic
Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal
Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd
Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore
Migratory: Yes / No
Domesticated: Yes / No
Dangerous: Yes / No