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Komodo New7Wonders of Nature

Adults are top predators but juvenile dragons are preyed upon by adult dragons, feral dogs, wild boars, civet cats and snakes. Male Komodo dragons are up to 10 feet long; females are up to eight feet (2.4 m) long. Komodo dragons have 60 razor sharp teeth up to one inch (2.5 cm) long.

  • They are carnivores; although they have been considered as eating mostly carrion, they will frequently ambush live prey with a stealthy approach.
  • In Komodo National Park, there are four times as many male Komodo dragons as there are females.
  • After the animal dies, which can take up to four days, the Komodo uses its powerful sense of smell to locate the body.
  • During this period, males fight over females and territory by grappling with one another upon their hind legs, with the loser eventually being pinned to the ground.
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  • Researchers have isolated a powerful antibacterial peptide from the blood plasma of Komodo dragons, VK25.

In 1980, Indonesia established What is Komodo National Park to protect the Komodo dragon and its habitat. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Komodo National Park has established patrols to prevent poaching. It also works with local communities to build awareness of the species and the importance of protecting it. The Komodo dragon has venom glands loaded with toxins that lower blood pressure, cause massive bleeding, prevent clotting, and induce shock. Dragons bite down with serrated teeth and pull back with powerful neck muscles, resulting in huge gaping wounds.

History & Culture

It wasn’t until 1975, when they were sexually mature that hormonal analyses revealed that they were both females, and so we began to search for a breeding-loan male. Named One Eye, that male arrived from the Basel Zoo in Switzerland in 1976, but no offspring were ever produced. It emerges from its burrow to look for a sunny spot to warm up in.


When threatened, they can throw up the contents of their stomachs to lessen their weight in order to flee. Van Hensbroek took the dragon to headquarters where measurements were taken. It was approximately 2.1 metres (6.9 feet) long, with a shape very similar to that of a lizard. More samples were then photographed by Peter A. Ouwens, the Director of the Zoological Museum and Botanical Gardens in Bogor, Java.

The Komodo dragon, the world’s largest living lizard, takes its name from the island. A type of monitor lizard, it inhabits Komodo Island and some of the smaller surrounding islands, as well as part of western Flores. Other animals include water buffalo, banded pigs, civets, cockatoo and macaques. Young Komodo dragons spend much of their first few years in trees, where they are relatively safe from predators, including cannibalistic adults, as juvenile dragons make up 10% of their diets. The habit of cannibalism may be advantageous in sustaining the large size of adults, as medium-sized prey on the islands is rare.


We are learning about the population biology of Komodo dragons in Komodo National Park. By studying Komodo dragon births, deaths, survival, and growth, we hope to learn many important things that will enable us to better conserve and manage them. In addition, we are exploring how things such as prey availability and rainfall influence the biology of the different dragon populations across Komodo National Park.

It can spend hours in one spot along a game trail — waiting for a deer or other sizable and nutritious prey to cross its path — before launching an attack. Komodo dragons are large lizards with long tails, strong and agile necks, and sturdy limbs. Adults are an almost-uniform stone color with distinct, large scales, while juveniles may display a more vibrant color and pattern. Members are our strongest champions of animal conservation and wildlife research. When you become a member, you also receive exclusive benefits, like special opportunities to meet animals, discounts at Zoo stores and more. In the decades since the Komodo was discovered, various scientific expeditions from a range of countries have carried out field research on the dragons on Komodo Island.


As with many other reptiles, the Komodo dragon primarily relies on its tongue to detect, taste, and smell stimuli, with the vomeronasal sense using the Jacobson’s organ, rather than using the nostrils. With the help of a favorable wind and its habit of swinging its head from side to side as it walks, a Komodo dragon may be able to detect carrion from 4–9.5 km (2.5–5.9 mi) away. Its scales, some of which are reinforced with bone, have sensory plaques connected to nerves to facilitate its sense of touch. The scales around the ears, lips, chin, and soles of the feet may have three or more sensory plaques. We take the time to understand your school’s values, wellbeing framework and challenges to deliver a solution that fits your school’s wellbeing needs. Michael Swindells, Accreditation Coordinator at Seisen International School gives us an insight into how Komodo has enabled them to start their student wellbeing data collection journey.

Those wounded while sparring with each other appear to be unaffected by the bacteria and venom. Scientists are searching for antibodies in Komodo dragon blood that may be responsible. Komodo dragons are limited to a few Indonesian islands of the Lesser Sunda group, including Rintja, Padar and Flores, and of course the island of Komodo, the largest at 22 miles long. The muscles of the Komodo’s jaws and throat allow it to swallow huge chunks of meat with astonishing rapidity.

Researchers have isolated a powerful antibacterial peptide from the blood plasma of Komodo dragons, VK25. Based on their analysis of this peptide, they have synthesized a short peptide dubbed DRGN-1 and tested it against multidrug-resistant pathogens. Preliminary results of these tests show that DRGN-1 is effective in killing drug-resistant bacterial strains and even some fungi. It has the added observed benefit of significantly promoting wound healing in both uninfected and mixed biofilm infected wounds. They are carnivores; although they have been considered as eating mostly carrion, they will frequently ambush live prey with a stealthy approach.

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It then moves the forked tip of its tongue to the roof of its mouth, where it makes contact with the Jacobson’s organs. These chemical analyzers “smell” prey, such as a deer, by recognizing airborne molecules. If the concentration of molecules present on the left tip of the tongue is greater than that sample from the right, the Komodo dragon knows that the deer is approaching from the left. A variety of behaviors have been observed from captive specimens.

MRI scans of a preserved skull showed the presence of two glands in the lower jaw. The researchers extracted one of these glands from the head of a terminally ill dragon in the Singapore Zoological Gardens, and found it secreted several different toxic proteins. As a result of the discovery, the previous theory that bacteria were responsible for the deaths of Komodo victims was disputed.


These stealthy, powerful hunters rely on their sense of smell to detect food, using their long, forked tongues to sample the air. They can spend hours waiting for a sizable meal to wander within range before launching a deadly attack with their large, curved and serrated teeth. Komodo dragons also eat water buffalo and wild pigs, both of which were introduced by man, as well as snakes and fish that wash up on the shore.

For smaller prey up to the size of a goat, their loosely articulated jaws, flexible skulls, and expandable stomachs allow them to swallow prey whole. The undigested vegetable contents of a prey animal’s stomach and intestines are typically avoided. Copious amounts of red saliva the Komodo dragons produce help to lubricate the food, but swallowing is still a long process (15–20 minutes to swallow a goat).

After returning with 12 preserved specimens and two live ones, this expedition provided the inspiration for the 1933 movie King Kong. Three of his specimens were stuffed and are still on display in the American Museum of Natural History. Komodo dragons were first documented by Europeans in 1910, when rumors of a “land crocodile” reached Lieutenant van Steyn van Hensbroek of the Dutch colonial administration. Komodo Health believes that smarter, more innovative uses of technology are essential for reducing the burden of disease, and we’re dedicated to solving the wickedly hard challenges that no one else can. Our Customer Success team can provide answers to all your questions.

As an ectotherm, it is most active in the day, although it exhibits some nocturnal activity. dragons are solitary, coming together only to breed and eat. They are capable of running rapidly in brief sprints up to 20 km/h , diving up to 4.5 m , and climbing trees proficiently when young through use of their strong claws. To catch out-of-reach prey, the Komodo dragon may stand on its hind legs and use its tail as a support. As it matures, its claws are used primarily as weapons, as its great size makes climbing impractical.

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Komodo New7Wonders of Nature
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