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Komodo Dragon
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Quick Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Varanidae
Genus: Varanus
Species: komodoensis

Length: 120 inches
Weight: 240 lbs
Incubation: 240 days
Offspring: 20 - 40
Life Span: 20 years
Top Speed (Ground): 15 mph

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Komodo Dragon

Varanus komodoensis

Also Called: Ora

These In-Depth Articles are an exclusive feature of theBigZoo.com and offer the most detailed look we offer. They are perfect for school projects and wildlife enthusiasts.
Komodo Dragon- Dispelling the Myths (686 words) Are you sure you know the truth about komodo dragons? Read this article to discover the line between fact and fiction for this magnificent reptile. It discusses 3 different myths and the reality upon which they are based.
Komodo Dragon- Hunting and Scavenging (1001 words) Wow! Experience the komodo dragonís life as a predator and scavenger. This article contains graphic descriptions of hunting strategies and feeding habits. Parental discretion is advised.
Komodo Dragon- Courtship and Mating (1032 words) Just how do two of the largest lizards in the world reproduce? This article discusses the difficulties that komodo dragons face when courting and breeding in the wild, egg laying, and captive breeding.

Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world. Young komodo dragons have green bands around their bodies that disappear with age. Adult komodo dragons have dull gray, leathery skin with occasional spots of red. They have short legs with large talonsWhat does talons mean?, a stout body and very long tails that they can use to crush an opponent. Young komodo dragons are very adept at climbing trees. As they grow older, they tend to stay on the ground. They are excellent swimmers and can run at speeds up to 15 miles per hour. At one time, it was thought that komodo dragons were poisonous. However, it is now thought that eating carrionWhat does carrion mean? has deposited large amounts of bacteria in the dragon's mouth that causes dragon bites to become infected and eventually kill the animal.

Young komodo dragons preyWhat does prey mean? on insects and small lizards. As they grow older, they start eating mice and other small mammals. Adult komodo dragons prey on pigs, goats, deer, young buffalo, and horses. They have also been known to eat people and will pretty much eat anything they can catch.

The komodo dragon is found on Komodo island and 3 other islands in the Indonesian archipelago. These islands are classified as semi-arid.

Adult komodo dragons are at the top of their food chain and have no predatorsWhat does predators mean?. Eggs are sometimes eaten by feral dogs and pigs. Young komodo dragons are often eaten by birds and adult komodo dragons. Humans are not a threat anymore because the komodo dragon brings a lot of tourists to the Indonesian islands and so they are not hunted.

Komodo dragons are solitaryWhat does solitary mean? lizards and usually come together only to mate and feed on carrionWhat does carrion mean?. At night, komodo dragons sleep in caves or in gullies and among tree roots. They come out to feed in the morning. When sharing a meal, the smaller lizards do their best not to upset the larger lizards and are very cautious about sharing in the feast.

Female komodo dragons lay between 20 and 40 eggs in a hole in the ground. After about 8 months, the young komodo dragons hatch. These young have to fend for themselves and live in trees most of the time.

The komodo dragon has a long, forked tongue that it uses to test the air for scents. Their eyesight is good for distinguishing movement and color but not very good in low light. They also have a severely limited frequency range that they can hear (400-2000 Hz).

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