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When you have a reputation as a ferocious predator to maintain, getting caught on camera falling off a log is not great! In this clip, a Komodo dragon is scaling a fallen tree and deciding to get off it. Unfortunately, this ends up as a rather ungainly tumble to the ground. The reptile styles it out and struts away as if it were all planned. Nothing to see here!
How Big Do Komodo Dragons Get?
Komodo dragons have the honor of being the world’s largest living lizard. Males are generally larger than females. An adult male Komodo dragon can be over 10 feet long and weigh over 300 pounds. The largest Komodo dragon ever recorded was a massive 365 pounds. It was a gift to an American zoologist in 1928 and was briefly displayed in Missouri’s zoological gardens.
They have a muscular body with a long neck, which they can raise above tall grass to view what is around them. Their toes have sharp, curved claws for holding their prey together with their serrated teeth. These vast reptiles have a long, narrow tongue with a deep fork. Most are gray, but younger Komodo dragons have brighter, speckled skin.
What Do Komodo Dragons Normally Eat?
These are opportunistic carnivores with a big appetite. They are happy to feed on a wide variety of prey they catch. However, they are also pleased to provide on carrion even if it has started rotating!
On their list of prey items, you will find wild boars, water buffalos, deer, and giant snakes. They will also occasionally eat smaller Komodo dragons, making them a cannibalistic species. If they are near human settlements, they steal livestock, including goats. Younger dragons feed on insects when they are first hatched but then move on to feed on smaller lizards, birds, and eggs.
How Do Komodo Dragons Normally Hunt?
Komodo dragons have snake-like tongues, which they use to detect odor molecules in the air. This helps them locate their prey. Their jaws can close rapidly, allowing them to secure even fast-moving prey. They then hold it, or possibly thrash it around, until it is dead.
They eat their prey headfirst, and small prey is swallowed whole, but larger prey is torn apart before consumption. Giant dragons need to kill one deer every month and will then supplement this with smaller mammals.
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