Forget the myths of the past because it turns out that dragons do exist – they’re called Komodo Dragons. Even though they don’t breathe fire, their incredible characteristics make them one of the most fascinating animals in the world.
Komodo Dragons are the largest living lizards found in Indonesia. These muscular, venomous lizards grow between a length of 6.4 to 10 feet (3 meters) and weigh around 154 lbs. Komodo dragons prefer solitude and only come together to eat and breed. They are also excellent runners and swimmers. They’re known as “Ora” or “land crocodiles.”
Komodo dragon; the name is enough alone to grab your attention, but there is a lot more to them than just a striking name.
- Fantastic Facts About Komodo Dragons
- 1. Komodo Dragons May Have Originated in Australia
- 2. They Are Venomous
- 3. They Are the Largest Lizards Alive
- 4. Komodo Dragons Have a Protective Exterior
- 5. They Only Live in Designated Regions
- 6. Komodo Dragons Are Gruesome Grave Robbers
- 7. Komodo Dragons Sometimes Eat Their Young Ones
- 8. They Can Also Reproduce Asexually
- 9. Surprisingly, Komodo Dragons Are Very Friendly
- 10. They Are Excellent Swimmers and Runners
Fantastic Facts About Komodo Dragons
Komodo dragons have grabbed a lot of attention over the years. Most people probably don’t know more about these fantastic reptiles other than their names.
Here are ten incredible facts about Komodo dragons.
1. Komodo Dragons May Have Originated in Australia
Komodo dragons are commonly found on Komodo island and nearby areas in Indonesia. Yet, research shows that they were initially discovered in Australia.
The Komodo dragon fossils found in Eastern Australia are similar to those of today.
Using DNA evidence and fossil records, scientists suggest that these reptiles lived in Australia around 4 million years back.
They later shifted from their native island westwards towards Indonesia.
2. They Are Venomous
For a long time, people believed that the Komodo dragon’s mouth had bacteria, making its bite deadly. Yet, it was later discovered that, like snakes, they also have venom proteins that kill their prey. That makes them a lot deadlier than you think.
Komodo dragons’ venom glands release a poison that causes blood loss, paralysis, tissue damage, and severe pain.
Unlike snakes, the reptile’s venom reaches down the massive wounds the Komodo dragon makes on the prey.
While the victim may escape the dragon’s grip, the deadly poison quickly kills. Komodo dragons then use their strong scent to locate the dying victim.
3. They Are the Largest Lizards Alive
Komodo dragons are the largest living lizards today. They are much larger than the regular lizards you see in your garden. These reptiles can grow as much as a small-sized car.
On average, male Komodo dragons are around 8 to 9 feet long and weigh almost 200 lbs. Yet, they can reach as much as 10 feet.
Females, however, are approximately 6 feet. The biggest Komodo dragon ever discovered was 10.3 feet long and weighed around 366 lbs.
4. Komodo Dragons Have a Protective Exterior
Under the skin, these reptiles have tiny bones called osteoderms. These solid deposits develop over a Komodo dragon’s lifetime, giving them external armor.
Komodo dragons are very aggressive, not just with their prey but with one another.
So, while they don’t have any threat from others, they need protection from other members of their species. This formidable skin offers them this protection against one another.
5. They Only Live in Designated Regions
Komodo dragons only live in specific areas. They have their particular land like none other. You can only find these amazing reptiles on five Indonesian islands and nowhere else.
The Komodo National Park comprises four islands, the fifth being Flores.
This colossal island hosts the most significant number of Komodo dragons worldwide. The island earns its name from these lizards; Komodo Island!
6. Komodo Dragons Are Gruesome Grave Robbers
Komodo dragons have a strong sense of smell that allows them to detect carcasses from a distance of six miles.
Since they feed on carrion, these reptiles don’t even need to hunt all the time.
These Komodo dragons search for graves and rob them so people nearby cannot bury their dead there.
These people now need to bury their dead in clay soil or sandy ground. They even add a pile of rocks on the body for better protection.
7. Komodo Dragons Sometimes Eat Their Young Ones
When food is short, Komodo dragons even feed on their young ones. As the reports have it, hatchlings make up around 10% of an adult dragon’s diet.
The young Komodo dragons often climb up on trees to save themselves from being cannibalized. Sometimes, they roll in adult fecal matter to take their scent and avoid being eaten.
8. They Can Also Reproduce Asexually
They can lay a fertile clutch of eggs even in the absence of males, playing the role of a father as well.
Parthenogenesis occurs only in around 80 species worldwide, and Komodo dragons were the first to confirm this.
9. Surprisingly, Komodo Dragons Are Very Friendly
Regardless of their grave-robbing and cannibalistic nature, Komodo dragons have a softer side.
They are very friendly and have a good time playing. Captive Komodo dragons were seen playing with shoes, shovels, and frisbees.
The way these reptiles engage in play with these things is just fun and play, not food motivation or aggression.
10. They Are Excellent Swimmers and Runners
Komodo dragons are very well adapted to survive in the wild with their massive bodies and muscular tails. But that’s not all. Komodo dragons are excellent swimmers as well.
They have been seen as several miles away from the shores of the islands where they live.
If that isn’t enough, these outrageous reptiles also run fast on the land. Komodos can run at the speed of 13 mph (21 kph).
What Can Eat Komodo Dragons?
Komodo dragons are amongst the largest and most dangerous predators alive. As they are tertiary predators, they don’t have natural predators from other species. Yet, with their cannibalistic nature, they prey on one another and younger Komodo dragons.
Can Komodo Dragons Kill Humans?
These venomous carnivores have shark-like teeth that kill humans within a few hours of biting. People living with these creatures weren’t afraid until Komodo dragons started attacking. Not only do these reptiles kill people, but they also dig graves and eat the dead.
Are Komodo Dragons Intelligent?
Komodo dragons are one of the most intelligent reptiles alive. In terms of hunting, they can even outsmart a pig or deer.