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Strange Dragons Really Exist - The Komodo Dragon!

The Komodo dragon is the world's largest flesh-eating lizard and living reptile. This amazing creature is only found in the wild on four small Indonesian islands, where they are vulnerable to disease, volcanic activity, and competition with feral dogs and man. It lives on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Padar, and Flores.
The Komodo is an endangered species and there are only about 5,000 of them in existence around the world, including a small number kept and bred in zoos.

This giant lizard can grow to 3 meters (10 feet) long, and has an average weight of 70 kg (155 pounds). Komodo dragons are dangerous predators with sharp serrated teeth more like a shark's than a reptile's. Swift runners, they can swim and climb trees, and they can use their tail as a weapon and swing it like a club. They find most of their food by smell. Like shakes they 'taste' the air with their tongues, which are deeply forked and collect scent molecules from the air. They have an acute sense of smell and can detect the scent of decaying remains from up to 5km (3 miles).

While Komodos like to eat dead things, they also prey on wild pigs, water buffalo and deer. They have a huge capacity for food, often eating up to half of their body weight in one meal. They are also cannibalistic, sometimes eating their own kind. They eat almost all of a carcass, consuming flesh, skin and even bones. A large Komodo can swallow a whole wild pig; their jaws expand like a snake's.

Their bite is often lethal because the bacteria in their mouths is so poisonous that wounds often do not heal, and their victim, if it manages to escape, dies in a day or two.

Although often regarded as pests, Komodos are not a serious danger to humans. In order to protect the dragon, the Indonesian government has made the islands of Padar and Rinca into nature reserves for both the lizard and its prey. Commercial trade in specimens or skins is illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The Komodo dragon can live up to 40 years. Although often regarded as pests, Komodos are not a serious danger to humans. In order to protect the dragon, the Indonesian government has made the islands of Padar and Rinca into nature reserves for both the lizard and its prey. Commercial trade in specimens or skins is illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
 






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