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By Harvey

Komodo dragons

Varanus komodoensis

Reproduction

Komodo dragons mate from May to August.  They lay about 20 eggs in September, in a self-dug hole or abandoned bush turkey or orange footed scrub fowl nest.  The eggs take 7 to 8 months to hatch which means they hatch in April.

 

The young lizards take 8 or 9 years to mature.  Young Komodo dragons live in trees and eat insects.  They live in trees so they don't get eaten by their parents or other adult Komodo dragons!

Size

Komodo dragons can grow up to 3m and weigh up to 70kgs.  Their tails are as long as their body.

Fun Facts!

Did you know that Komodo dragons live on 5 islands, not just Komodo? The other 4 islands are Rinca (where we saw them), Flores, Gili Motang and Padar.

1.

They are ambush predators.  They eat birds, invertebrates, and mammals.

2.

Komodo dragons can see prey clearly 300m away.

3.

Their skin is reinforced by armoured scales which contain tiny bones called osteoderms.

4.

Toxic killers

People used to think that their bite just had bacteria in it.  Now scientists know that it has a venomous bite.  There are two venom glands which secretly script toxic proteins.

The diet of a big Komodo dragon is mainly deer and buffalo.  The dragon will attack and bite the deer or the buffalo on the leg.  The deer (or buffalo) will panic which makes it's blood pump the poison through it's body more quickly.

The dragon follows it until it collapses and then eats it.  It has to be quick though because other dragons will also come and feast on the prey.

This is me and my family and our friends next to a very lazy Komodo dragon.

I got my information from the guides and rangers at Komodo National Park on Rinca Island when we visited there, and from Wikipedia.

Sources