Crazy Komodo Dragon Facts, Largest Lizard in the World

Komodo Dragon Facts
The World’s Largest Living Lizard

One of the most fascinating Komodo dragon facts is that it’s the largest and heaviest lizard in the world.  Growing to a length of 10 feet (3 meters), and sometimes weighing as much as 300 pounds (136 kg)!

Komodo Dragon Facts
Komodo Dragon, Ken Schultz, Flickr

This amazing species is also known as Komodo monitor (Varanus komodoensis).  A stable population of about 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons can be found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili, Motang, and Padar.

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Komodo Dragon Facts

♥  Be sure to tread lightly around the Komodo dragon. It has about 60 frequently replaced, serrated teeth that can measure up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length.

♥  Until quite recently, the popular misconception was that the Komodo possesses a lethal venom in its mouth that will slowly kill you. New research has shown, however, that the venom is not lethal at all.  What it does is, when bitten and exposed to it, it works to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clotting. So if an animal has a large wound, essentially the animal will bleed to death.

UPDATE:  “Komodo Dragon’s Lethal Saliva is a Myth, Says New Study.”

♥  The lizard has a long, yellow, deeply forked tongue which it uses to detect, taste, and smell the air around it, much like a snake.

♥  Komodo dragon skin is reinforced by armored scales, which contain tiny bones called osteoderm that function as a sort of natural chain-mail.

Crazy Komodo Dragon Facts
“Komodo dragon skin”, Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

♥  Thought to have been around for millions of years, their existence has only been known to humans for the past 100 years or so.  (How something so large can avoid being seen is a mystery to me.)

♥  Their long, flat heads have rounded snouts, the skin is scaly, their legs are bowed, and their huge muscular tails are as long as their bodies.

♥  Komodo dragons are able to see as far away as 980 feet (300 m) but because its retinas only contain cones, it is thought to have poor night vision.

♥  Their diet consists of — everything.  This includes carrion, deer, pigs, smaller dragons, and even large water buffalo and humans!

♥  They patiently lay in wait for passing prey, which they pounce on and then use their sharp claws and serrated, shark-like teeth to eviscerate the unfortunate, tasty (I’m assuming) animal.

Komodo Dragon Facts
Komodo Dragon ClawsKristen Ortwerth-Jewell, Flickr

♥  If the prey gets away, as I mentioned earlier, it will die within days.  The dragon may use its keen sense of smell to track it down from as far away as two miles.

♥  A dragon can eat a whopping 80 percent of its body weight in a single feeding.

♥  Komodo dragons can run up to 11 mph (18 kph) in short bursts.

♥  Mating Season is between May and August, and about 20 eggs are laid in September in abandoned nests or in nesting holes they dig themselves.

♥  The eggs are incubated for seven to eight months, hatching in April, when insects are most plentiful.

♥  Young Komodos take 8 to 9 years to mature and are estimated to live up to 30 years.

♥  The Komodo Dragon’s natural habitat range has decreased due to human encroachment, poaching, and natural disasters, bringing them to a status listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.  They are protected under Indonesian law, and Komodo National Park was founded to aid protection efforts,

 The Komodo Dragon has gotten my attention and my respect!

Komodo Dragon Facts
“Komodo Dragon” by Arturo de Frias Marques – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

SOURCES for Crazy Komodo Dragon FactsWikipedia, National Geographic, and Live Science 

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  • Can you tell us other facts about the Komodo Dragon? Have you ever seen one? Do tell.

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