Komodo dragons have inspired many myths of great proportions. Here are 11 interesting facts about the dragons of Komodo Island.
- Komodo Island is one of the 17,508 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia.
- The locals on Komodo Island had given Komodo dragons the name “ora” (meaning land crocodile) long before scientists found out about it.
- It is often a necessity for Komodo dragons to travel between the Indonesian islands and are sometimes observed paddling along for miles away from shore.
- Much like many lizards and snakes, Komodo dragons also have forked tongues that allow them to pick up taste particles that are airborne. The tongue allows the reptile to identify its prey from more than two miles away!
- Although famous for being from the Indonesian Komodo Island, Komodo dragons were originally from Australia. According to fossil records, it is estimated that the reptiles made their move out of Australia around 900,000 years ago, arriving at the island of Flores.
- Komodo dragons were the inspiration for the film ‘King Kong’.
- As Komodo dragons are massive reptiles (weighing as much 200 pounds and measuring up to 8.5 feet long), it is no surprise that they are able to take down large animals such as deer, water buffalo, and wild boars. They usually utilise an ambush strategy. They lie and wait, matching well with the island surroundings, for an animal to pass by. They use their venomous bite before the prey is able to escape.
- A handful of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin were curious and wanted to know more about the armour-plated skin of the Komodo dragons. The primary question they asked was what the world’s largest lizard would need protection from. They discovered that they have bony deposits in their skins of a wide variety of shapes, and it reveals the growth of the reptiles. They also found out that the only thing a Komodo dragon would need protection from is other Komodo dragons.
- They aren’t like other reptiles when it comes to metabolism. Thanks to a genetic adaptation, Komodo dragons do not lack in the way of aerobic capacity like most other reptiles do. Researchers discovered that that the metabolism of these creatures are similar to that of a mammal, and this is an important benefit when it comes to hunting prey.
- These reptiles are able to eat up to 80% of their own body weight in a single sitting. The slow digestion and the large feast mean that they will lounge around in the sun, which helps them with their digestive process.
- Komodo dragons have at least killed 4 people in the last five decades.
Do you know any strange, fun or interesting facts about the Komodo dragon? Let us know in the comments section below!
Related 'Animals & Nature' Facts