An impressive creature: the Komodo dragon
The Komodo dragon is a large lizard type found on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Padar. These fascinating creatures are the largest lizards in the world. Males grow to be around 3 meters long and can weigh more than 70 kilograms; females are slightly smaller.
Komodo dragons do not need to go to the gym, as they are already large and muscular. The animals also have a flat head, curved legs and long, strong tail. They have rough, scaly skin, which is usually a mix of gray, brown and green. Their split tongue is yellow and their eyes are a bold orange color.
These animals are carnivores, so their diet consists mainly of large mammals such as deer, wild boar and water buffalo. In addition to this, they also eat smaller reptiles, birds, and sometimes their own children.
Komodo dragons have venomous saliva, a rare trait among lizards. The venom is not used for hunting, but rather to weaken the prey and cause infection if the prey escapes. Komodo dragons have sharp teeth and powerful jaws, with which they tear apart their prey.
Although Komodo dragons are generally not aggressive toward humans, there have been incidents where humans have been attacked by these powerful lizards. Here are a few notable examples:
- In 2001, a group of tourists on Komodo Island were attacked by a Komodo dragon. A woman was bitten in the leg and had to be transported by plane to a hospital for treatment.
- In 2007, a 9-year-old boy was torn apart by a Komodo dragon at a zoo in the United States. The boy suffered serious injuries to his foot and leg and required surgery to repair the damage.
- In 2008, a guide on the island of Rinca was attacked by a Komodo dragon and injured his hand and leg. The guide was trying to take a picture of the lizard when it suddenly attacked him.
- In 2009, a group of scientists studying Komodo dragons on the island of Komodo were attacked by a large male lizard. One scientist was severely bitten in the leg and had to be flown to a hospital for treatment.