Are you the kind of person who involuntarily scared of lizards? You need to know about the largest living lizards on planet earth. Ferocious, hefty and outright dangerous, meet the least popular living reptiles. In this article we will explore some lesser known facts about these large sized lizards feared by all. They are known for their man-eating tendencies, virginal birthing and intelligence while hunting. A mixture of playfulness and savage cruelty make up their basic nature. They are often called ‘land crocodiles’ for obvious reasons.
Natural Habitat of Komodo Dragons
Komodos are known to live in tropical Savanna forests and islands. They live on Indonesian islands of the lesser Sunda group; Rintja, Padar and Flores, and the island of Komodo. They feed themselves by swimming to and fro from these islands. They can often be seen paddling along the shores hunting for prey. Their large size is a result of this peculiar phenomenon called “island gigantism”. According to this feature the size of a particular species increase when they are the lone animals of that habitat. The Komodo Dragons are currently found only in a handful of islands in Indonesia. They get their name from the fact that similar looking dragons are believed to have been found in the island of Komodo.
Komodo Dragon – Food habits
The Komodo Dragon’s jaws are such that it allows them to eat up a considerable size of meat at one go. They will happily consume animals of all sizes; from big rats to buffalos. Their stomachs are so easily expandable that they can swallow up to 80% of their own size in one meal. They often spit out their hunt when they are in danger so that they can run easily. The younger ones often feed on smaller lizards as well. Komodo dragons are venomous and they use it to their advantage while hunting. They are ferociously carnivorous and they eat their own species! After birth, most of the baby dragons scamper off to climb trees in order to avoid being eaten up by their own mothers.
The hunting method of Komodo Dragons
Like snakes, Komodo Dragons have forked tongue which helps them to find prey. They will scurry around in search of food and surreptitiously wait for an attack at an opportune moment. They can eat large animals like wild deer, water buffalos and even humans. They are particularly famous for being the kind of carnivores that eat their own offspring. These lizards use their venom to hunt. Once they bite, the prey can stay alive only for the next four days or so in which time, the dragon attacks again. Komodo Dragons use their sense of smell as the primary factor to hunt. They can smell rotten flesh from a certain distance. They touch the roof of their mouth with their forked tongue to assess the direction from which the prey is coming from. Chemical analyzers in their mouth help them smell out oncoming prey.
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