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Komodo Dragon

Varanus komodoensis
Komodo Dragon

Range

They are found on small, lonely islands in Indonesia.

Habitat

They live on hot, dry, barren, steep-sloped volcanic islands. They stay in the low, dry forests and grassy areas on the islands.

Body Traits

Komodo dragons are the world's heaviest lizards. They grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 200 lbs. Females are smaller. They find food by smell. If the wind is blowing in the right direction, a komodo dragon can find dead meat (carrion) 5 miles away. They can move very fast. They can also climb trees and swim. They have about 60 shark-like teeth that are made for tearing flesh. Their mouth is full of bacteria and animals that survive a dragon attack usually die of an infection later. Baby dragons live up in trees, safe from predators.

Habits

They live alone, except during the breeding season. Males are territorial. They keep burrows and rest in them if it is too cold. They can swim to other islands nearby. They can live up to 40 years.

Diet

They eat meat (carnivorous) and even other komodo dragons (cannibalistic). They kill big prey like pigs and deer, and have been known to attack injured humans. Baby dragons eat insects, birds, eggs, small mammals and other reptiles.

Predators

The only real threat to the Komodo dragon (besides for man) is when the volcanoes erupt. They can escape injury into the water, but they lose all their prey and then starve.

Reproduction

Females lay up to 30 eggs in a nest mound. Newly hatched babies are more than a foot long.

Komodo Dragon

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Autarchoglossa
Family: Varanidae
Genus: Varanus
Species: V. komodoensis

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