Monday, March 9, 2009

Komodo Dragon Fact Sheet

Family name : Varanidae
Order name : Squamata
Common name : Komodo Dragon
Scientific name: Varanus Komodoensis

Within the Komodo National Park, the population is reasonably well monitored. Most dragons live on Komodo Island and Rinca, with a few on Gili Motang. On nearby Flores there may be as many as 200 Komodo Dragons remaining, however this number is unclear, as a full survey of this rugged island has not been carried out. It is quite clear however that numbers around human habitation are falling.
The Komodo Dragon is powerful and agile, but surprise is still the method of choice for capturing larger prey. It will eat almost anything from its own eggs and those of turtles, to pretty much any animal within its domain, including deer, buffalo, boar, snakes, you name it, even wild horses and monkeys. Despite this variety, human attacks are rare and usually due to 'getting in the way' rather than the Dragon's attempt to feed. Locals give Komodo Dragons the care and respect that such a powerful animal deserves, but do not fear them.

The tall grass on the islands provides good cover for the dragon, and most attacks occur from ambush when prey passes within strike range. A small adult Komodo, weighing 40 kilograms can kill a much larger Sunda deer at around 90 kilograms. By striking quickly and knocking the deer off its feet, the Komodo Dragon begins tearing it to pieces using its claws and large, serrated teeth. Animals that survive this attack are quite likely to die from infection, as the Komodo's saliva is particularly nasty, containing as many as 50 strains of bacteria. For smaller prey, dragons may just strike directly for the neck and kill its victim instantly. They will also eat carrion - the Komodo Dragon has an amazing sense of smell, and can detect carrion from several kilometres.

Being cold-blooded, dragons use burrows to keep warm during the night. When dawn breaks they drag themselves out of bed and laze on the open earth in the baking sun, as if recharging their batteries. Being reptilian they are more active during the afternoon, after they have warmed themselves up.

The Komodo Dragon is one of natures giants, one of the leftovers from the era of the dinosaurs. We've all heard of them, but due to their limited distribution and numbers, not many people get to see them. By joining a liveaboard cruise to Komodo, you not only get great diving, but have the chance to see a living fossil, one of the world's most famous and unique animals...

| Free Bussines? |

No comments:

Post a Comment