The Komodo Dragon. Without doubt one of the world’s most interesting creatures. While the world of dinosaurs is long over, there still exist some creatures today that appear out of prehistoric times. The Komodo Dragon is one of these. While the Komodo Dragon is well known, there are many misconceptions about the animal. Let’s try and clear some up now by delivering 10 facts you may not have known before.
They are fast
When you picture a Komodo dragon, do you imagine it slowly lumbering on the ground, lazily placing one foot after the other? In reality, the Komodo dragon is fast, reaching speeds of 20 km/h at times. This makes the Komodo dragon a difficult customer to deal with. They are fast, large and deadly. My advice; don’t insult any!
They are killers
Thanks to the movies, the average person’s idea of what a dragon is has become pretty exaggerated. To the point where most people think dragons could not possibly exist. When you point out the existence of the komodo dragon, people typically respond “oh yeah, but that doesn’t count”. It counts! Although Komodo dragons do not breath fire, they are killers. Granted since the 1970s they have only killed four individuals (that is fewer deaths than caused by broccoli in the same time frame) but that still makes them killers.
They are venomous
Komodo dragons have two venom glands in the lower jaw meaning that if you are bitten by one you will be in big trouble. This is a typical way they kill their prey, biting it and waiting for it to die.
They smell with their tongue
Unlike humans, Komodo dragons use their tongues to smell. They literally taste the air with their tongue and study the microscopic particles to determine where their prey is, up to five miles away.
They are talented swimmers
Inhabiting five islands in Indonesia means that Komodo dragons are predisposed to swimming. They often have to swim large distances to cross islands. This combined with their running ability makes them formidable athletes. If they could figure out how to cycle they would probably do pretty well in triathlons.
They are big eaters
Komodo dragons can eat up to 80% of their body weight in one meal. If you consider that Komodo dragons can weigh up to 100kg that means they are eating 80kg meals, an incredible amount!
They will dig up human bodies for food
I suppose if you have an appetite that big you will go to strange lengths to satisfy it. Komodo dragons have been known to dig up buried people for a late-night snack. In fact, people who inhabit areas with Komodo dragons often put rocks on the burial site to stop Komodos from stealing the body.
They are flexible
Ok ok, you won’t see any Komodo dragons doing gymnastics or yoga anytime soon they are not that kind of flexible, except in one area, the mouth. Komodo dragons eat such large amounts that they can open their jaws to extreme lengths, allowing them to eat small pigs and other animals whole.
Komodo Dragons will eat their young
It is a tough life growing up as a Komodo dragon. These beasts are not picky eaters and will eat young Komodo dragons if they are hungry.
Young Komodo Dragons defend themselves with poop.
That is right, poop! Young Komodo dragons will roll around in poop to make themselves appear less appetizing to older dragons.
There you have it 10 lesser-known facts about the incredible komodo dragon.