10 Facts about Komodo Dragons

Welcome to 10 Facts, the place where we give you 10 facts about a topic.

This week’s facts are all about Komodo Dragons.

1. Biggest Lizard

The Komodo dragon is the largest and heaviest lizard in the world, growing as long as 10 feet (just over 3 metres) and weighing about 300 pounds.

2. Long life expectancy

Komodo dragons have a life expectancy of about 50 years so don’t piss one-off or you’ll have an enemy for a long time.

3. Diet

Meat obviously. What kind of meat, they aren’t really fussy  and will eat almost any kind. I suppose when you spend a lot of time hunting you can’t really be a picky eater.

4. Deadly saliva?

For years it has been thought that Komodo Dragon saliva contains a host of deadly bacteria like E. Coli that it transmit into the wounds of its prey when it bites them that then leads to things like sepsis.

However this is now disputed thanks to research from 2013 which suggests that the bacteria in the mouth of Komodo Dragons is ordinary and similar to that of other carnivores.

Well there go all the jokes about Komodo Dragons not going to the dentist or brushing their teeth.

5. Venomous?

As a result of what was thought to be their deadly saliva there has been debates around whether or not Komodo Dragons are venomous and the answer is maybe.

The deadly saliva would not count as venom however research from 2005 and 2009 has shown Komodo Dragons possess two glands in their lower jaws that produce several toxic proteins including some that reduce blood clotting.

However some scientists remain unconvinced and state that the proteins secreted from these glands could have other uses that we don’t know about.

Isn’t science wonderful?

6. Confused with crocodiles

Komodo Dragons are easily confused with crocodiles and are often called “Ora” or land crocodile by locals. Well they are both big lizards that you don’t want to get in a fight with so I can see how they would be easily confused.

7. They go through a lot of teeth

Komodo Dragons go through about four or five sets of teeth in their lives clearly they have never heard of dentists or to brush their teeth. Ha still managed to get one in. Sorry Komodo Dragons, please don’t bite me.

8. More males than females

There are about four times as many male Komodo Dragons as there are females in the wild. Is this such a surprise when they clearly have such horrible breath?

9. No natural predators

Komodo Dragons are top of the food chain on the islands where they live meaning they have no natural predators. Their greatest threat comes from other Komodo Dragons. Oh and of course us. Yeah let that be a warning to them.

10. Not many left

It is believed that there are less than 4000 Komodo Dragon’s left on the planet. I’m guessing humans have played a significant role in this. Yay us!

 

If you ever get a chance to see a Komodo Dragon I recommend it. They have one (maybe more) at London Zoo and they are just incredible. It is quite scary how big they are , even scarier when you think that they have been known to attack people. Makes me glad that I don’t live where they are running about the place.

 

If you have any suggestions for things you would like us to do 10 facts on leave them in the comments below.

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