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The Komodo is well known to be the largest lizards found on the earth. They are not only the largest but also the heaviest lizards as well. They were introduced by the people living in the islands of Indonesia. They are native to the island and can easily sprint at the speed of 13 to 15 miles per hour. They can spend hours at one spot waiting for their prey to come. Some researchers have declared that these species are the closest one to dinosaurs. The Komodo dragons are said to have been thriving on the earth since millions of years. They have more than 3000 species found on islands. These reptiles also range in color, from yellow-gray to brown depending on the location they are living in. Their rough skin protects the huge dragon from injuries and bites of other animals. The muscular tail and powerful claws make them ever more deadly.
1. Description and size
The giant lizard also is known as Komodo drag on has gigantic tails. It also has strong, agile neck and sturdy limbs. The adult Komodo dragon varies in color and size as compared to the younger ones. They have large scaly skin and distinct body. They have more vibrant colors and patterns on their bodies. Their tongues are yellow in color. The tongue is the forked shape. The Komodo’s muscles and jaws allow the creature swallow huge pieces of meats. This giant dragon has various movable joint and sharp like teeth. The stomach can quickly expand and enable the adult dragon to have more than 50% of its body. These dragons are very skillful. If they are threatened, they have the ability to lose the content of their stomach which results in less weight. Moreover, because of this less weight, they can easily flee.
The male dragons are more likely to grow in length and weight than the female dragon. There are no such morphological signs that can mark the difference between their sexes. There is just one slight different i.e. In front of the cloaca the adjustment of scales is a bit different. It is a challenge for a human to find out about their sex and sometimes these dragons themselves have no idea who is who.
These dragons are said to be the largest lizards found ever. The greatest length estimated up till now of the Komodo dragon is 10.3 feet, and weight is about 36 pounds. The largest wild dragon weights about 154 pounds. Komodo dragons are found resting on several islands of Indonesia.
2. Food and eating habits
These inquisitive dragons have the ability very sharp visual senses. They can easily monitor the objects far from 300 meters. Komodo Dragons have keen eyesight to pick up objects from far. The retina of the dragon only possess cones which mean they can differentiate the color, in dim light their eyesight may be weak. However, their hearing sense may be weak as compared to humans. The food detector tool for these dragons is their smelling sense. Their smelling sense matches that of snakes. Their hunting abilities are also different. When they are searching for their prey, or they are catching them. It first attacks the feet of its prey such as of deer, so that the prey would get an imbalance. If they are dealing with smaller prey, they may attack the neck first and knock them down. Their hunting strategies are very simple, they only smash down their prey into several pieces and enjoy their meal. The most dangerous weapon a dragon posse is its sharp teeth. These teeth help them to tear the flesh of prey very efficiently. Once the deer begins to bleed it starts to feed. The Komodo bite is not that deadly to its other dragons. Dragons love to eat bones and hooves. They also enjoy eating the intestine. While consuming the gut of the prey, the powerful dragons swing them to scatter the prey in content. This also removes the feces from their meal. The young Komodo feed on gecko lizards and other insects. Their prey is shared by the other Komodo as well, so there are little chances of the meal to get wasted. There are about 50 bacteria strains in Komodo dragon, and seven harmful bacteria are found in their saliva. The prey which it aims at is less likely to run away. The bite of Komodo can give it a severe infection. The infection is so harmful that it probably kills the prey in less than a week. Researchers have found a venom gland in their lower jaws. This venom gland prevents the blood from clotting.
A study has shown that the largest dragon can easily survive on 12 meals per year. They use their tongue for smelling and tasting their prey. They hold their prey with their front legs and tear them up in pieces. This reptile can easily swallow the whole animal which is smaller than a goat. They take the time to eat their prey. A copious quantity of red saliva is usually produced which lubricates the food. They get suffocated while eating and to avoid such situation they start breathing through a small tube which is present under their tongue.
This solitary creature wanders alone in search of food. It also eats water buffalo and wild pigs found in islands. Pigs are now easily available, and they are the regular meal for Komodo. They spend their times near trees which further reduces the risk of attack from predators.
The mighty Komodo dragons are more likely to be found in the islands of Indonesia. The islands also include Rintja, Padar, and Flores. These dragons are also found in the tropical forests, but mostly their variety is found living in islands. The islands where these dragons are found are volcanic in origin. They are rugged as well as hilly. They also scratch burros that are shallow enough. These burrows keep the Komodo warm at night times and retreat from the hot day. They are e their burrows and sometimes use existing burrows of other dragons. It is not necessary that all dragons live in burrows; some dragons prefer living in huts that are for the visitors. The adult dragon prefers living a life of leisure.
4. Reproduction/ Lifecycle
The mating between these dragons takes place in May and August. The dominant males usually turn embroiled in the quest for females. They take the support of their tales to wrestle the upright postures and grab each other with the help of their forelegs. They also temp to throw the opponents on the ground. When one of them bleeds the loser tends to flee way or remain motionless.
The female Komodo dragon lays about 30 eggs. She lays her eggs down in the depression it has dug or in the pilfered nests. The eggs are incubated for about nine months. The female dragon is mostly fund protecting its offspring. The hatched offspring’s weights about 3.5 ounces and they are roughly estimated to be 16 inches in length. It is also said that these offspring often fall prey to the predators in their early stage. The offspring are dependent on small lizards, snakes, and flies. When they stretch about 6 feet in length, they move towards larger prey such as monkey’s goats and other wildlife. Their growth may last for 30 years. Komodo dragons live about 30 years. This life span is estimated roughly. Research is still going on it.
5. Sleeping Habits
The Dragons usually escape from the hot blazing sun and try to find refuge in burrows at night. Their massive body cannot deal with the heat. The burrows where they find refuge are barely bigger than their body.
Komodo dragon bites and treatment
It is true that a komodo dragon is venomous. Initially, the scientist was of a view that such animals usually rely down on bacteria to take down the prey. They thought that dragon bite is toxic because of the harmful bacteria’s present. Now it is confirmed that the mouth of these terrifying dragon is almost similar to that of an ordinary carnivore. These dragons do not save their rotting flesh in their mouth which makes their bite more deadly. It is an incredible fact that after having their meal, they usually keep lip licking for about 15 minutes. They keep their mouth clean. They do not have a habit of saving the rotten flesh from their last bite. This automatically makes their bite extra deadly. However, it is also said that they can transfer the dangerous strands of bacteria from its saliva in the mouth of the victim. The dragon then waits for its prey to get weakened. The venom that is inserted in the very is very toxic. It usually results in anticoagulation.
The Komodo dragons are large and cumbersome reptiles. They can run at an incredible speed. They are also excellent swimmers. Komodo enjoys swimming on hot days. Male dragons can swim long distances between the islands in quiet areas. These giant dragons are said to be solitary by nature. Komodo dragons prefer hunting and wandering alone. They kill their prey with the bacteria which is present in its saliva. These terrifying dragons are mostly found looking for food, and they usually get into fights for food. They have a habit of leaving only 10 percent of their meal. They wake up early in search of food. Their smelling sense is superb; they can smell the prey from far. If they consider their territory in a particular area they will keep wandering until they found one. Komodo is over protective in the case of their prey. Before attacking during a fight them first, they arch their neck stand also pop out their throats. Komodo is well known to fight till death. These giant reptiles scratch each other and jump over. They do not die until and unless they are bitten. They attack humans and other living beings only when they get mad. The Komodo dragon also has a third eye on top of his head. It is located under the scales on its body. The function and structure of the third eye are different from that of other eyes. The third eye acts as a light sensor when facing the sky. This third eye tells the dragon about the season of the year and the time of the day. These dragons are not very social. They prefer living hunting and wandering alone. They usually get into a fight in groups.
The Komodo dragons wake up early to find breakfast for them and then take a nap. After having a late meal at afternoon, they are ready for bed. They sleep sound in their burrows until the next day. This solitary creature hunts alone and eats whatever is available for him.
The female dragon uses various types of nests to lay their eggs. Their variety of nests includes hillside nests, ground nests and mound nests. These nests are built by the orange footed scrub fowl. To discourage their predators and protect the off springs the female usually makes decoy nest chamber. Their nests are made up of leaves and debris. It also forms a natural incubator. The Komodo dragon starts their life from an egg which is in the shape of grapefruit. The female dragon guards her egg for about five years. The young dragon does not lead an easy life. As soon as it is hatched from an egg it keeps hiding from the predators. The young dragon scurries p to the nearest trees to be protected. However, the baby dragons are very clumsy to climb a tree. These young dragons also live in leaves and twigs. When the dragons are about four years old and 4 feet in length they start living an independent life.
- Although they are the heaviest and terrifying creature, these creatures also have a fun-loving side as well. Did you know they can enjoy swimming as well?
- The Komodo dragon has 60 small sharp teeth.They designed and cut in such a way that tearing of their prey becomes very easy. Their teeth are usually compared with the extinct saber-toothed cat. The dragon goes for four to five set of teeth throughout him life period.
- In wild forest, there are less female dragons and four times more male dragon present. The length of female and male dragon differs. The female grows up to the length of 6 feet, and males grow up to the length of 10 feet.
- Until 1912 these creatures were unknown. They first showed up on Komodo islands. The natives did not get anything to name them at the start, and then they named them “ora” which means “land crocodile.”
- Komodo dragons love traveling but alone. They are among the solitary reptiles. Often these animals are spotted paddling among the shores of Islands.
- Their flexible jaws help them gorge. These huge dragons can swallow very small animals.
- The most amazing fact is that the female dragon does not wait for any handsome male for reproduction. The females tend to reproduce eggs and healthy babies despite unsuccessful mating. In fact, there are some female members who have never shared the enclosure with any male member but still can reproduce healthy offsprings. No, you must be wondering how it works? The female dragons practice something like “parthenogenesis” when no male is present around the female dragon. This exercise helps them to intake sperms, and with the aid of those sperms, certain eggs can be fertilized.
- The adult Dragons usually don’t give a second though before devouring its baby. Until the young dragons are not able to defend themselves, they remain away from adult hungry dragons to save themselves. In such conditions, they make themselves unappetizing by rolling in dung.
- They are very adaptive to their environment and can learn very fast. Komodo dragon picks up thing and tricks in no time. Some people keep them as a pet. It is heard that the female dragons when trained can come on the whistle and she can also recognize here caretaker. The dragons also get furious without any reason. Dragon’s behavior is very playful. They love being engaged in playful activities. They also play and spend time with small objects like play
- The dragons are keen at learning small and new tricks. They can easily be identified from their massive behavior.
- There are very rare and mostly found in wildlife. There is a Komodo national park where these dragons roam freely.
- There is no evidence about their parental care. It is observed that as soon as the newly baby is hatched, it directly runs towards the tree to avoid listening to u by an adult dragon or even by mother komodo.