Thursday, March 3, 2011

Komodo Dragon

True Wild Life | Komodo Dragon | The komodo dragon, also known as the giant monitor lizard, is the largest species of lizard in the world.The komodo dragon inhabits the rainforests of Southeast Asia, and the komodo dragon is native to just a few islands in Indonesia that are part of the Komodo Island National Park. Fossil evidence however, suggests that the komodo dragon once had a much larger habitat but this has been severely decreased due to deforestation. Komodo dragons are completely dominant predators in their environment, and are named by the locals as the land crocodile due to their large size and habit of eating seemingly anything that the komodo dragons can find.

The komodo dragon has an exceptional sense of smell meaning that the komodo dragon is able to hunt out its prey up to 8 km away, when aided by the wind blowing in the right direction. Recent discoveries have revealed that the komodo dragon is indeed venomous, and does not kill its prey through lethal bacteria, as previously thought. However, once the damage the komodo dragon can do coupled with the fact that the saliva of the komodo dragon is known to carry more than 50 different strains of bacteria, means that any animal that manages to survive the attack of a komodo dragon, is extremely likely to die of infection.

The komodo dragon hunts anything that comes into contact with the komodo dragon, including its own eggs! Generally komodo dragons are not known to actively hunt humans, but the komodo dragon is known to be one of the man-eating animals in the world, as it is not uncommon for the komodo dragon to attack and eat humans that get in its way. To hunt their prey, komodo dragons rely heavily on their camouflage in the long grass and great patience as the komodo dragons sit and wait for prospective prey to pass. When a meal ambles past the komodo dragon, the komodo dragon uses its thick, powerful legs to spring out of its hiding place. The komodo dragon then uses its sharp claws and serrated teeth to capture its meal before then eating it.

Due to the fact that the komodo dragon is an apex predator in its limited environment, the komodo dragon will often live to more than 30 years of age. The main exception to this is the side effects that occur due to deforestation and areas where there is a lack of food for the komodo dragon to hunt. Today there are thought to be around 3,000 komodo dragon individuals left in the wild with less than a third of them being female komodo dragons that are of the age to breed. The komodo dragon has always been under threat from humans that destroy the habitat of the komodo dragon or quickly kill the komodo dragon when they come into contact with them.

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