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Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon

Animal's Behavior

Komodo dragons dominate their habitat. Active during the day, these impressive animals have a controversial bite! Previously thought to be merely incredibly septic, with more than 50 different strains of bacteria noted in the dragon’s saliva, researchers now think the dragon’s bite may be slightly venomous as well. The Komodo dragon uses its long, yellow, forked tongue to detect prey. Its serrated teeth make short work of the deer and other animals it eats.

Eating Habits

The Komodo dragon prefers carrion but has been known to hunt as well, sometimes using its strong tail as a weapon. Komodo dragons can consume up to 80% of their own body weight in one meal.

Range

Grasslands, savannah and low elevation tropical forests of Indonesia

Conservation Efforts

It’s thought there are about 5,000 living Komodo dragons in the wild. Many of these populations have been protected for thirty years. Volcanoes, earthquakes, poaching and habitat loss all continue to threaten these animals. Commercial trade of skins or specimens is against the law.

Animal Facts

  • The Komodo dragon tends to avoid human interaction. It doesn’t hear too well, and it’s thought to have poor night vision.
  • It has been known to stand on its hind legs, using its tail for support, to catch out-of-reach prey.
  • It can take as long as 20 minutes for a Komodo dragon to swallow a goat.

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Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Varanus komodoensis

Classification

Animalia, Chordata, Reptilia, Squamata, Lacertilia, Varanidae

Place of Birth

Indonesia

Size

Up to ten feet long and 150 pounds

Color

Speckled dark green, grey, black and other colors

Lifespan

30 Years

Conservation Status

Threatened

Where to See

Audubon Zoo

Mailing address: Audubon Nature Institute 6500 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70118
800-774-7394
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