– Scientific Classification –
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Varanidae
- Genus: Varanus
- Species: V. komodoensis
The komodo dragon is one of my all time favorite reptiles. If there’s one dangerous thing I’d be crazy enough to study, hands on, it’s this. This gorgeous lizard, the largest in the world, is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. They can be found in Indonesia on the island of Komodo and the neighboring islands, Rinca and Flores.
Some of the most prevalent controversy surrounding the Komodo Dragon is on the nature of the way it kills. A dragon will either feed on carrion or bite its prey and then stalk it until it dies. It was theorized that toxic bacteria was the main source of the attacked prey’s subsequent shock induced death. Now it seems that credit is given to a venom produced in glands in the lower jaw of Komodo dragons that seeps into the wound after the Komodo bites the animal. During feeding, the Komodo dragon can consume up to 80% of its body weight in one sitting.
Here’s a video of one of the craziest reptile lovers who ever lived running around with the world’s largest lizard:
- Komodo Island, Indonesia (jcmaroundtheworld.wordpress.com)
- 18-Year-Old Komodo Dragon Dies At Pittsburgh Zoo (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)