The Komodo dragons are a unique and interesting lizard species found only in the Indonesian islands of Flores, Komodo, Padar and Gili Motang. They have been in existence for millions of years and hold the distinction of being the largest lizards on the face of the earth. Their sheer size, their mean look, and the fact that they have been able to outlive other species from the same era make the Komodo dragons a constant tourist attraction.
There are lots of other interesting facts about the Komodo dragons. These facts include:
It is estimated that the Komodo dragon can grow up to a maximum length of 3 metres, which is the equivalent of 10 feet. The average height of a Komodo dragon is slightly below this at 2.5 meters. These lizards can also grow to a whopping 70 kilogrammes. Whichever way you look at it, these lizards are massive compared to other living species, and are among the largest species on earth.
The largest wild Komodo weighed approximately 166 kilogrammes, and had attained a length of nearly 3.13 meters.
Why are Komodo Dragons so big?
These lizards are this big because there are no other carnivorous animals that are their size on the island. This means that they are the biggest predators in their environment. The lack of competition for food, and the wide variety of food available allows them to grow to these gigantic sizes.
The saliva from a Komodo dragon often appears bloody. This is because of the laceration of the gingival tissue that covers all of the Komodo's 60 teeth during feeding.
The Komodo dragon is generally a solitary lizard, and prefers to spend most of its time on its own. They scarcely move in groups both in the wild and in confinement. However, the dragons come together when breeding or eating. This is especially the case for the dragons bred in captivity.
For such heavy animals, their speed can be tremendous. Komodo dragons can sprint at 20 kilometres per hour, which is tremendous. Sprinting at such high speeds helps them run after and capture their own lighter prey.
It is also important to remember that when they are young, these lizards are quite skillful when it comes to climbing trees. This is a necessary survival skills in order to protect themselves from the older, cannibalistic Komodos as well as other predators.
Did you know that the Komodo dragon is also highly adept at diving? This humongous lizard is capable of diving up to approximately 4.5 meters under water to catch prey.
When you consider how fast they can move on land, and how deep they can dive in water, it comes as no surprise why the locals used to refer to these lizards as the land-crocodiles.
As mentioned previously in this article, the Komodo dragon is a carnivorous animal, and it has its own unique prey-catching approach. The dragons usually have ambush sites, and when a potential prey mistakenly appears near this site, the dragon will charge at it with full speed. The dragons usually aim for the throat or the underbelly of the prey.
They usually aim to instantly kill the prey unlike other predators that strike to fatally injure their prey and give them room to try and escape.
These dragons are considered lethal as they can kill a wild pig in just a matter of seconds. They have also been known to kill large goats and deer. They have occasionally been observed attacking humans.
There is so much more to learn about the Komodo Dragon and the best place to do this is at the Ayana Komodo Resort. During your luxurious stay here, you will have the chance to go on game drives at the Komodo National Park, where you can see these lizards, and observe their unique behaviours.