Perhaps you have found yourself questioning your spirit animal or in a heated debate over which species is really the “King of the Animal Kingdom.” I will save you some time, there is a right answer.
Meet the Komodo Dragon.
Insane Facts About Komodo Dragons:
- Komodo dragons are the largest lizards. They can reach 10 feet in length and weigh up to 200 pounds.
- Adult Komodo dragons are cannibals (eat their own species) and 10% of their diet is made of newly hatched Komodo dragons.
- They can eat prey that weighs 80% of their own weight. Unlike other animals, they will eat bones and hooves.
- Komodo has forked tongue (like snakes). It uses its tongue to detect a prey by smell. They can locate the prey that is 4 miles away using their sensitive tongues.
- Komodos have good vision; they can see objects as far away as 985 feet (300 m), according to the Smithsonian Zoo.
- They are also speedy. They can run briefly up to 13 mph (20 kph) but prefer to hunt by stealth — waiting for hours until prey cross their path.
- Komodo dragons are great swimmers. They can swim from one island to another.
- The team found that the dragon’s venom rapidly decreases blood pressure, expedites blood loss, and sends a victim into shock, rendering it too weak to fight. In the venom, some compounds that reduce blood pressure are as potent as those found in the word’s most venomous snake, western Australia’s inland Taipan. Unlike a snake, however, which injects venom into a victim through its sharp fangs, a Komodo dragon’s venom seeps into large wounds it makes on an animal it attacks. The animal may escape the grip of the dragon, but it won’t escape the venom that will eventually bring it down. By then, the Komodo dragon will be not far behind, tracking down its fleeing victim with its keen sense of smell.
- Komodo dragons often fight with other dragons. They bite each other during the fight, but unlike other animals, they are immune to bacteria from their saliva.
- The Komodo dragon became inspiration for the film “King Kong.”
- Female Komodo dragons can reproduce without sex.
- They can live more than 30 years in the wild, but only few years in captivity.
- Because of an immensely slow metabolism, the monitor lizard can subsist on as few as 12 meals a year.
Also published on Medium.