Komodo Dragon Pictures

 
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Komodo Dragon Photos Showing The World's Largest Lizard, Endemic and Endangered

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The Komodo Dragon, Varanus komodoensis,  is the world’s largest living lizard, and can grow to over 10 feet long, and weigh up to 360 pounds, although 8-9 feet and 200 pounds is more typical in the wild. They are endemic to the Lesser Sunda islands of Indonesia, including the island of Komodo, where they build burrows for protection at night when they sleep.  They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails, and live to around 30 years old.

Komodo dragons are on the endangered list due to their limited range and to hunting over the years. Komodo National Park was established in 1980, and strict anti-hunting laws protect the dragons. There is a stable population of about 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons on the islands of Komodo, Gila Motang, Rinca, and Flores. However, some poaching still takes place, and locals sometimes put out poisoned bait to reduce the population.

Komodo dragons eat almost kind of meat, including carrion, deer, pigs, smaller Komodo dragons, water buffalo and even humans. There have been eight recorded instances of attacks on humans since Komodo has become a national park, mostly on the island of Rinca. The young mostly feed on small gecko lizards or insects. Although they can briefly sprint up to 13 miles an hour, Komodo dragons rely on camouflage and patience, lying in wait along game trails for passing prey. When prey passes the dragon will attack, attacking the feet of larger animals, or the neck of smaller ones, with an intent to bring it to the ground and tear it to shreds.  It has sharp claws and teeth that are large, curved, and serrated, and tear flesh efficiently. Even when it is unsuccessful in killing the prey, if the prey has been bitten, the toxic venom and bacteria in the dragon’s saliva will kill the prey by blood poisoning and a decrease in the ability of the blood to clot within a few days. The dragon may follow the prey until is succumbs, or will detect the dead body by its smell. However, scientists have determined that the venom and bacteria are not deadly to another Komodo dragon and they may be protected by special antibodies.

The Komodo dragon uses its sense of smell as its main prey detector. It senses odors with its long yellow forked tongue, and uses a swinging motion of its head to detect direction of the smell. It can find carrion from over two miles away. Their eyesight is good at detecting motion although their vision is poor in dim light. They have a limited range of hearing and do not hear very low or very high pitches. A kill is usually shared by many Komodo dragons and very little is wasted. They slash open the stomach and scatter the intestines to remove the fecal matter from the food. Juveniles will roll in the fecal matter to make them less attractive as food for larger dragons. The dominant male feeds first, followed by other dragons in order of size until almost the entire carcass has been eaten. The Komodo dragon has the capability to open its mouth unusually wide, swallow huge chunks of meat, and expand its stomach to accommodate them. It can consume up to 80% of its body weight in a single feeding. They can also regurgitate the stomach contents to make them lighter if they need to flee an aggressor. The dragons then become quiet while they digest their meal.

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Picture of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Rinca, Komodo National Park, Indonesia, Pacific, note tongue

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Stock photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

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Image of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, adult, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

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Photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

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Picture of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, adult, Komodo Island Nat Park, Indonesia

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Stock photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, and National park ranger, Indonesia, Indian Ocean, Komodo National Park

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Image of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Rinca Island, Komodo National Park, Indonesia, Pacific

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Photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, close up of head showing nostrils

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picture of a Komodo dragon picture of a Komodo dragon picture of a Komodo dragon picture of a Komodo dragon

Picture of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Komodo National Park, Indonesia, Pacific, note tongue

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Stock photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Rinca Island, Komodo National Park, Indonesia, Pacific

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Image of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, close up of head showing forked tongue

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Photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

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picture of a Komodo dragon picture of a Komodo dragon picture of a Komodo dragon picture of a Komodo dragon

Picture of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, close up of head showing forked tongue

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Stock photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, eating dead dolphin, Rinca, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

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Image of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, adult, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

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Photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Picture #: 050261

picture of a Komodo dragon picture of a Komodo dragon picture of a Komodo dragon picture of a Komodo dragon

Picture of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, feeding, Komodo National Park, Indonesia, Pacific, note tongue

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Stock photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

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Image of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

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Photo of a Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, close up of foot and claws, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

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