One of the largest species of land lizard found on the surface of the earth, Komodo dragons is a member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae). Its exceptional size is attributed to its low metabolic rate and also to the fact that there are no other carnivorous species in its habitat to fill its role and place on the islands. As such, ecosystem dominations can be seen contributing to its massive size. A peculiar characteristic of this animal is that its oral cavity has the ideal environment for the culture and sustenance of virulent bacteria. Such an environment is created by the natural laceration of the gingival tissue during feeding that covers its teeth. The process of mating for these animals usually begins during the months of May and August while the eggs are laid around the month of September. These unique animals are also capable of parthenogenesis wherein females can lay viable eggs even in the absence of males. To know more about this unique species, read the information given below in this article.
Komodo Dragon Facts
Binomial Name: V. komodoensis
Species: V. komodoensis
Length: Approx 2 to 3 metres (6.6 to 9.8 ft)
Weight: 70 kilograms (150 lb)
Diet: Carnivorous, mostly carrion
Range: Komodo, Rinca, Flores and Gili Motang islands in Indonesia
Habitat: Savanna, dry open grasslands and tropical forests at low elevations.
Lifespan: Over 50 years in the wild.
Age Of Sexual Maturity: 5 to 7 years
Gestation Period: 8 to 9 months
Number of Offspring: 15 to 30 eggs per clutch
Interesting And Amazing Information On Jaguar
- The very existence of this breed of animal was unknown to mankind until about 100 years ago. They can survive only in the harsh environmental conditions of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands.
- Komodo dragons are the largest breed of lizards existing in the world today.
- They have got a very strong sense of smell and use flickering movements of their tongue to catch the scent of their prey.
- The average length of a Komodo dragon is 6 feet, though some of them are known to grow to an amazing 10 feet.
- They have a very unique way of killing their prey as they swallow their entire catch. Komodo are also known to swallow a whole pig.
- Diurnal in nature, these animals typically like to hunt during the day-time.
- The food of choice for these animals is rotten meat or carcasses. It is for this reason that bacteria from the carrion gets settled in their oral cavity and whenever an animal gets bitten by the dragon, they get serious infections. Such infections can even be fatal if not treated promptly.
- These dragons are known to run with a speed of about 18 kph in short bursts.
- It is estimated that a fully grown Kimodo dragon can consume up to 80% of its body weight in a single feeding.
- At present, the animal is enlisted as a threatened species in the IUCN red list and serious actions are been taken by wild-life activists and animal researchers to protect this unique animal.
- In the year 1992, for the first time in history, a dragon named Kraken was born in captivity outside Indonesia at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. After this, more than 50 other dragons were born in the same zoo and were later deported to other zoo around the world.
- A large number of Komodo Dragons have been sampled genetically and are micro chipped. There are continuous research carried in different parts of the world to study the genetic range and maintenance of the genetic pool of this species.
- This species of dragon lies at the top of a complex food chain, one that is continuously been damaged by cyanide fishing and dynamite blasting. Even with international protection and attention, little has been accomplished in preventing human poaching in areas where their main food sources lie. In fact, it is the poaching of the Sunda deer (Cervus timorensis), which is one of the prime food source of the animal, that led to the complete disappearance of the species from the island of Padar during the late 1970s.