Komodo dragon

Solar powered largest living dragons

Thomas Fuhrmann

A remarkable and formidable creature, a relic of a prehistoric world that has survived into the modern era. Native exclusively to the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, these giants roam the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar, where they dominate the ecosystem as apex predators. The islands themselves are a product of the volcanic activity, with challenging terrain that has shaped the evolution of the Komodo dragon and other unique flora and fauna.

Komodo dragons have evolved several adaptations that make them successful hunters and survivors. Their tough, durable scales, infused with small bones called osteoderms, provide natural armor against attacks and the harsh island environment. Their powerful legs may not give them speed over long distances, but they afford explosive power for short bursts necessary to ambush prey.

These lizards possess a long, yellow, deeply forked tongue, which they use with a sensory organ called the Jacobson’s organ to detect taste and smell particles in the air. This adaptation allows them to locate carcasses from several kilometers away. While they are primarily known as scavengers, feeding on the carcasses of dead animals, they are also formidable hunters, capable of taking down large prey such as deer, pigs, and even water buffaloes.

Their hunting strategy involves using their strong, muscular tails for balance, sharp claws for gripping, and powerful jaws equipped with serrated teeth to deliver a debilitating bite. Recent research has suggested that their venom glands contribute to the lethality of their bite, causing shock and blood loss in their prey.

However, despite their prowess, Komodo dragons are vulnerable to the pressures of human encroachment, natural disasters, and climate change. Given their small and isolated populations, their status as a protected species is critical. They are classified as “Endangered,” with conservation efforts focusing on habitat protection, anti-poaching measures, and ecotourism as a sustainable means to contribute to their preservation.


Population est.
Lesser Sunda Is.

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.

Anything we've missed?

Help us improve this page by suggesting edits. Glory never dies!

Suggest an edit

Get to know me

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