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Asian Gardens Animal Fact Sheet
KOMODO DRAGON
Varanus komodoensis

Range:
Native to only a few small Indonesian islands, including Komodo, Rintja and western Flores
Komodo dragons are the largest living species of lizard in the world. They are fierce predators which stalk and ambush their prey.

This species of lizard is long-necked, heavy-bodied and thick-tailed and is equipped with sharp claws. An adult Komodo dragon can subdue prey several times larger than itself.

Komodo dragons swallow smaller prey whole and shred large prey using their serrated teeth. It was always believed that Komodo dragons killed their prey by infecting them with their saliva, containing deadly microorganisms. However, a recent study by the University of Melbourne in Australia has concluded that Komodo dragons do in fact produce and use venom. The venom was found to act as an anticoagulant (anti-clotting agent) leading to extensive blood loss and weakening of the prey, making it easier for the Komodo dragon to subdue and consume.

Young Komodo dragons are tree dwellers for the first few years which protects them from their primary predator: adult Komodo dragons. At 5 or 6 years of age they are old enough to defend their own territory. These lizards are mostly terrestrial, but are good climbers and agile swimmers.

Habitat: Tropical island forests and beaches
Diet: Deer, goats, boars, carrion, eggs and small Komodo dragons. Will subdue prey many times its size.
Status: Vulnerable (SSP)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: 10 feet in length and weigh up to 200 lbs.
Lifespan: 45 years
Reproduction & Offspring: Females lay between 10 to 30 soft-shelled eggs

 

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