Facts about Komodo Dragons. "Scientific name for Komodo Dragon is varanus komodoensis. Komodo Dragons are native to the Lesser Sunda island group in Indonesia. The largest island they live on is Komodo, hence the name Komodo Dragon. The Komodo Dragon is part of the family varanidae and the order squamata. The Komodo Dragon is also called the komodo monitor lizard. Natives call it “land crocodile” in their own language.
Komodo Dragons are found on Komodo, the largest island in the Lesser Sunda island group, as well as Flores, Padar, and Rintja. Komodo Drgons prefer to live in the forests but will cover the whole island in search of food.
Appearance of Komodo Dragons
Komodo Dragons are the largest living lizards in the world. The largest known Komodo Dragons have reached 10 feet (3 meters) long and 366 pounds (166 kg). The average for adults is 150 pounds (68 kg).
Komodo Dragons use their long, yellow tongues to sample the air like a snake does, though it does not flick the tongue out as often as a snake. There are two organs, so a scent that is stronger on the left side tells the animal the scent is coming from the left. A Komodo Dragon walks with its head swinging side to side so it can sample a broader swath of air.
Physical Description of Komodo Dragon
Komodo Dragons have excellent vision, seeing things up to a thousand feet (304.8 meters) away. Komodo Dragons cannot hear as many frequencies as humans, so they cannot hear high pitched or low pitched sounds humans could.
They can sprint up to 13 miles per hour (20.9 km/ph) but prefer to spend hours in weighting for prey. Komodo Dragons rarely attack people, but in 2007, a Komodo Dragon killed an eight year old boy. They prefer to catch deer and other herbivores. For small prey, Komodo Dragons lunge at the neck. For larger prey, they lunge at the stomach, hoping to rip out enough flesh for the prey to fall and bleed to death. If a belly attack does not kill the pray, the bacteria in the predator’s mouth will kill the pray. Adult Komodo Dragons will eat younger ones, but the younger ones like to roll around in fecal matter and the adults will not eat fecal matter and even shake the intestines to get the fecal matter out before they eat it.
The Komodo Dragons make venom that causes toxic shock and prevents clotting to increase the odds of killing the prey, which is similar to the venom in snake bites. Komodo Dragons occasionally attack each other, but they are immune to their own bacterial colonies and toxins.
The Komodo Dragon has several joints in the lower jaw to let it open wide, similar to that of an alligator or crocodile. It can eat large portions of meat quickly, and it must, because other Komodo Dragons will approach a fallen prey-animal and join in the feast if it can. Their stomachs can expand immensely to contain as much as 80% of the animal’s normal weight. Komodo Dragons can throw up this weight if they need to be lighter and less bulky to flee.
They are lizards, not warm blooded like the dinosaurs are presumed to have been. Komodo Dragons will seek shade at the hottest part of the day and stay in burrows to minimize heat loss overnight.
Habitat of Komodo Dragon
The first Komodo Dragons hatched outside of Indonesia in 1992. Since then, many more clutches and dozens of Komodo Dragons have been bred.
Trivia of Komodo Dragon
We don’t know if the Komodo Dragon reached its unusual size because there were no other predators on the islands. Komodo Dragons were on or are a relic of a population of large lizards that once lived throughout the Indonesian Islands.
Komodo Dragons have lived in the Indonesian Islands for millions of