Komodo Dragon

Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world. Young komodo dragons have green bands around their bodies that disappear with age. Adult komodo dragons have dull gray, leathery skin with occasional spots of red. They have short legs with large talons, a stout body and very long tails that they can use to crush an opponent.

Young komodo dragons are very adept at climbing trees. As they grow older, they tend to stay on the ground. They are excellent swimmers and can run at speeds up to 15 miles per hour. At one time, it was thought that komodo dragons were poisonous.

However, it is now thought that eating carrion has deposited large amounts of bacteria in the dragon’s mouth that causes dragon bites to become infected and eventually kill the animal.

Food

Young komodo dragons prey on insects and small lizards. As they grow older, they start eating mice and other small mammals. Adult komodo dragons prey on pigs, goats, deer, young buffalo, and horses. They have also been known to eat people and will pretty much eat anything they can catch.

Habitat

The komodo dragon is found on Komodo island and 3 other islands in the Indonesian archipelago. These islands are classified as semi-arid.

Predators

Adult komodo dragons are at the top of their food chain and have no predators. Eggs are sometimes eaten by feral dogs and pigs. Young komodo dragons are often eaten by birds and adult komodo dragons. Humans are not a threat anymore because the komodo dragon brings a lot of tourists to the Indonesian islands and so they are not hunted.

Social Structure

Komodo dragons are solitary lizards and usually come together only to mate and feed on carrion. At night, komodo dragons sleep in caves or in gullies and among tree roots. They come out to feed in the morning. When sharing a meal, the smaller lizards do their best not to upset the larger lizards and are very cautious about sharing in the feast.

Birth & Offspring

Female komodo dragons lay between 20 and 40 eggs in a hole in the ground. After about 8 months, the young komodo dragons hatch. These young have to fend for themselves and live in trees most of the time.

Senses

The komodo dragon has a long, forked tongue that it uses to test the air for scents. Their eyesight is good for distinguishing movement and color but not very good in low light. They also have a severely limited frequency range that they can hear (400-2000 Hz).

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