Komodo dragons are a type of lizard, the biggest of their kind. They are really strong and muscular, growing up to 10 feet long (3 meters) and weigh about 300 pounds. They are the heaviest lizards out there. With wide flat heads and rounded snouts, they look similar to other lizards. These lizards are covered in a thick skin of scales and have noticeably flabby wrinkled skin along their necks. Komodo dragons have short bowed legs that result in a funny walk, but attached to these legs are long claws that are dangerously sharp. The dragon also is armed with a long muscular tail which can deal a serious blow to its targets. Komodo dragons come in many colors, including green, grey and black. There are so many more Komodo dragon fact for kids below!
Photo Credit: Adhi Rachdian
How Komodo Dragons Reproduce
Komodo dragons are somewhat solitary animals, but come together to take down their prey or to snag a piece of another’s catch. This is usually where they meet and males can pursue female. Dominant males wrestle each other in order to get their mate.
The mating season is from May to August and like most reptiles, the Komodo dragon lays eggs, around 20 to 30 in September. They lay their eggs in nests stolen from Megapode birds or in holes dug out in slopping hills.
Komodo Dragon Babies
It takes about 8 to 9 months of incubation to hatch young Komodo dragons. These hatchlings are greenish in color with bands of black or yellow which turn grey or reddish brown as they get older. The female dragon will stand guard over her eggs for months to protect them. However, the hatchlings are left to fend on their own and easily fall victim to many predators, including their own kind. By climbing up trees, where they spend most of their time, these youngsters can stay away from danger. These reptiles have a lifespan of up to 30 years, but scientists are still researching the subject.
Where do Komodo Dragons Live?
These giant lizards are inhabitants of sandy regions, such as the islands of Indonesia, and hot dry regions, like tropical savannah forests, grasslands and even dried river beds. They spend their nights in burrows to retain heat and during the day it keeps them cool. The almost dinosaur-like creatures are reducing in number due to the destruction of their habitat in addition to illegal hunting.
Mass of Komodo Dragons
Photo Credit: Brice Li
What do Komodo Dragons Eat?
Komodo dragons are purely carnivorous lizards. They eat any kind of meat from a fresh kill to an already dead, decaying carcass. Their young feed on small prey, like insects, small birds, lizards and snakes. And once they grow in size and age, they can shift onto bigger prey, such as goats, boars, deer and even water buffalos.
The Komodo dragon’s long, razor-sharp claws help it rip its meal apart. It has no trouble in running up to 13mph, but to catch its prey, all it needs to do is wait in hiding to pounce. A single bit is enough to bring down the prey. The lizard has deadly bacteria in its saliva that leads to blood poisoning and finally death of the animal. There isn’t any need for a chase, as the dragon can stroll to the dead animal to feast on it.
Photo Credit: Molly Goossens
Komodo Dragon Fun Facts
- The Komodo dragon gets at least 4 to 5 sets of teeth during its lifetime.
- This gigantic lizard can eat up to 80% of its own body weight in one sitting.
- Komodo hatchlings are 12 inches long.
- It gets tough for researchers to tell apart the males from females and the same is the case for the dragons themselves.
- The dragon falls under the endangered species category, mainly due to human activity.
- They keep the environment clean by getting rid of rotting carcasses.
- These creatures have 50 different bacteria’s in their saliva that speed up infection.
- The Komodo dragon is also known as Komodo Monitors and scientifically called Varanus komodoensis and ora, or “land crocodile” by locals.
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