Dec 15, 2008

Hostile Natives

The Komodo dragon is the world's heaviest lizard, weighing in at 200 lbs and reaching upwards of 8 feet in length. They are monitor lizards that are prodigious, opportunistic, and even cannibalistic eaters. They prefer carrion, but will devour anything they can get their jaws around (said jaws are filled with 60 teeth, most reminiscent of shark teeth).

About 10% of their diet is smaller dragons, and they've been known to eat pigs, deer, humans, and even adult wild buffalo. One eye witness watched a 100 lbs dragon consume a 90 lbs deer in 20 minutes. That's an appetite even the teenaged version of me couldn't compete with. And I wasn't equipped lethal drool (their saliva is a deadly cocktail of virulent bacteria--if the bite doesn't kill you, the infection will).


They live in a small cluster of islands off the Indonesian coast (males will oftend swim from island to island), most of which are now under the aegis of the Komodo National Park. According to the Honolulu Zoo (other sources cite different dates and means of discovery), the dragons were unknown to outsiders until the end of World War I, when a downed airplane pilot swam ashore and encountered them. Talk about hostile natives.

Photo source: Jenny Huang

6 comments:

niner said...

What a gorgeous magnificent beauty. I would want one if it wouldn't eat me. One of my favorite animals.

Raging Wombat said...

I wonder what your iguana would have to say about having a komodo dragon for a housemate. :)

Flartus said...

Mmmmmm...deadly drool. That's always fascinated me. Having an older brother, I often thought of how convenient it would be to have that as a defense.

niner said...

Wombat, it's all about the food chain. Niner loves picking on the baby bearded dragon. The komodo would like to pick on Niner, I'm sure. ^_^

Anonymous said...

The most terrifying sub-species is the Kimono Dragon that lulls hapless male victims with abundant sakki.

alex said...

ugly? yeah a bit. awesome? hell yeah!