A Living Dinosaur Who’s Bite Can Kill You: The Komodo Dragon
The Komodo Dragon is the largest land lizard on the planet, it was once thought that this animal’s saliva was filled with so many bacteria, that it’s bite was deadly to anything it bit. Komodo dragons have thrived in the harsh climate of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands for millions of years. Reaching 10 feet in length and more than 300 pounds, Komodo dragons are the heaviest lizards on Earth.
They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails. We now know that the Komodo Dragon kills with venom, researchers found. Komodo dragons kill using a one-two punch of sharp teeth and a venomous bite, scientists have confirmed for the first time. This find dispels the common belief that toxic bacteria in the Komodos’ mouth’s are responsible for ultimately killing their prey.
A large lizard, Komodo dragons have long tails; strong, agile necks and sturdy limbs. Adult Komodo dragons are an almost-uniform stone color with distinct, large scales. Juvenile dragons may display more vibrant coloring and patterning. Their tongues are yellow and forked, appropriate for their draconian name.
The muscles of the Komodo’s jaws and throat allow it to swallow huge chunks of meat with astonishing rapidity. Several movable joints, such as the intramandibular hinge opens the lower jaw unusually wide. The stomach expands easily, enabling an adult to consume up to 80 percent of its own body weight in a single meal, which most likely explains some exaggerated claims for immense weights in captured individuals.
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