Species: komodoensis Category: Reptiles » lizards common Name: Monitor
- Komodo Dragon
Other Common Names: Komodo Monitor, Giant Monitor, Land Crocodile, Ora
Komodo Dragons are found exclusively on the islands of Komodo, Rinca,
Padar, Flores, and the Sunda Islands
Warm climates; desert and tropical regions
The Komodo dragon undergoes a color change during their lifetime. Juveniles
to about age four vary in color including yellow, green, brown and gray
and are often speckled and banded. Adult dragons are either earthen red
or slate gray to black. Also characteristic of reptiles, the dragons have
very rough, armor-like bodies. Komodo dragons also have a long bright
yellow forked tongue which may have helped inspire early dragon legends
Despite their great size, Komodo dragons are quick and agile on the ground,
they can climb trees by gripping them with their large claws, and are
also good swimmers, using their tails to propel them. The first several
years of a dragon's life is spent in trees, keeping them safe from predators
including adult dragons. Adults can often be found basking in areas exposed
to direct sunlight. The Komodo dragon hunts by stalking its prey. The
prey can be killed with a single bite, because of the bacteria in the
Komodos saliva, but death can take from 2-4 days. This is not a problem
for the dragon as its long, yellow forked tongue is chemo-sensitive and
the dragon tracks the prey until it dies and then eats it.
Komodo dragons breed in June and July. 5 weeks after this, the female
digs a hole in the ground and lays about a dozen eggs. She then covers
them and leaves them to incubate unattended, relying on the sun to keep
them at the proper temperature. The young hatch eight months later. Barely
8 inches long, they are in danger of being eaten by almost every predator
around. Those that survive grow quickly, and after 5 years, they will
have reached 6 feet in length. Both males and females are mature enough
to breed at around 6 years of age.
About 50 years.
Live prey and carrion, including insects, fish, reptiles, birds or mammals.
They've even been known to eat younger Komodo dragons. Some Komodos have
been observed gobbling down more than 80 percent of their body weight
at one meal!
Man and other Komodo dragons.