The Komodo Islands
The Komodo Islands are part of
Indonesian island chain. They are most famous for the Komodo dragons.
dragons have a nasty reputation of being man-eaters. Actually, they only eat deer, pigs, monkeys, and other
dragons. Although they do not eat
people, they are very deadly. Their
bite has enough bacteria to kill over 2000 rodents. Their teeth have razor sharp points.
If not treated, one bite can kill. Komodo dragons only live in the Komodo Islands. One
of the islands, Komodo National Park, has been turned into a komodo dragon
reserve. The native Indians think that the komodo brings good luck.
(click on picture to make it larger)
Komodo Dragons on Komodo Island
Komodo Dragon Facts
Average size 7.5 ft.
Average weight: 100 lbs.
Maximum size: 10 ft.
Maximum weight: 300 lbs.
The dhole, another fascinating creature, is a type of dog that lives on the Komodo Islands. It is endangered because of people hunting it in the past. The dhole has some extraordinary vocal calls. It can whistle, scream, and even cluck like a chicken. It also hunts in packs. It forms packs of over 40 dholes! It breeds communally with most pack members helping to feed or guard the pups. When hunting as a pack it can subdue prey up to 30 times its own body weight, and can even fend off a tiger! It inhabits a variety of habitats from tropical rain forest and dry-deciduous jungle, to cold alpine forest and open plains. Itís also an excellent swimmer and often drives its prey into water.
Some species on the Komodo Islands have become extinct. Archaeologists found fossils of pygmy elephants that are not found on the islands today. Biogeographers think that the Komodo dragon evolved and became much larger than normal so they could attack and eat the pygmy elephant.