Komodo Dragon vs Gorilla: Which One Would Win in a Fight?

Komodo Dragon Saliva
Luca Vaime/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kyle Glatz

Updated: March 4, 2023

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Gorillas are highly intelligent creatures that have been taught how to communicate with humans to some extent. So, the chances are good that they would be wise enough to steer clear of deadly predators like the Komodo dragon. Still, we can’t help but wonder what would happen if a powerful primate like a gorilla had to go toe-to-toe with that deadly lizard. Let’s take a look at a Komodo dragon vs gorilla and see which of these animals has what it takes to win the fight!

Comparing a Komodo Dragon and a Gorilla

A Komodo dragon differs from a gorilla in size, speed, and behavior.
Komodo DragonGorilla
SizeWeight: 150lbs – 300lbs
Height: 1.5ft-2ft
Length: 6ft-10ft
Weight: 150lbs – 485lbs
Height: 4.4ft- 5.1ft
Length: 4ft-5ft
Speed and Movement Type11 mph top speed
– Uses a crawling motion
-25 mph
– Can move quickly with knucklewalking
Senses– Good eyesight
– Use their tongues and Jacobson’s organ to smell and taste their environment and find prey from miles away
– Poor hearing
-Human-like sense of sight
– Good sense of smell
– Human-like sense of hearing  
Defenses– Hard skin with strong scales that are reinforced with bony deposits called osteoderms
– Speed
– Threat display
– Speed    
Offensive CapabilitiesPossibly venomous
– Sharp claws hold prey in place
Sharp teeth lead to exsanguination in victims
-Open-handed strikes (can’t make true fists)
-Biting
– Intelligence to identify weak spots on enemies
– Immense strength, capable of lifting over 1,000lbs
Predatory Behavior– Ambush predators
– Tries to knock down and bite vital areas on prey, typically the neck.  
– Opportunistic predator as an omnivore      

What Are Key Differences Between a Komodo Dragon and a Gorilla?

Gorilla staring at the camera

Gorillas are powerful, intelligent primates that can become very aggressive in certain situations.

The greatest differences between a Komodo dragon and a gorilla are their morphology, method of movement, and degree of intelligence. Gorillas are semi-bipedal primates that use knucklewalking to move faster, and Komodo dragons are quadrupedal reptiles that scamper on all four feet.

Also, gorillas are highly intelligent creatures, but Komodo dragons are often regarded as some of the dumbest animals in the world. Looking at these differences and other data, we can start to piece together a picture of how this fight would end.

What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between a Komodo Dragon and a Gorilla?

Komodo Dragon Teeth

Komodo dragons use their sharp teeth and surprising speed to overwhelm enemies.

Deciding which animal is most likely to win a fight against the other requires looking at several characteristics. We must consider their physical traits as well as how the two animals fight off their foes.

With the right combination of information, we can see the various advantages that these animals have over one another and use that to inform our decision of who wins the battle.

Komodo Dragon vs Gorilla: Size

Gorillas are larger than Komodo dragons. Komodo dragons are longer than gorillas, measuring 10ft to the primate’s 5ft, but they’re much shorter and lighter. Gorillas can stand as tall as 5ft while Komodo dragons are only 2ft tall.

Gorillas regularly reach 300lbs in weight, and they can weigh as much as 485lbs. Komodo dragons weigh about 300lbs at their maximum, though. All in all, the gorilla is a far larger creature than the lizard.

Gorillas have an advantage in terms of size.

Komodo Dragon vs Gorilla: Speed and Movement

Gorillas are faster than Komodo dragons. Gorillas use their knucklewalking abilities to reach speeds of 25 mph over short distances. Meanwhile, Komodo dragons can use a crawling motion to reach speeds of 11 mph, allowing them to move fast enough to catch a variety of prey.

Gorillas have the advantage in terms of speed and movement.

Komodo Dragon vs Gorilla: Senses

Gorillas are not predators, and their senses are not that much better than humans. For example, they have a human-like sense of sight and hearing. Their sense of smell is better than humans, but not as acute as a dog’s.

Komodo dragons have great senses, capable of finding creatures from over a mile away by using their specialized sensory organs. Moreover, they have good eyesight to help them identify prey. The only drawback is their poor hearing.

Komodo dragons have better senses than gorillas.

Komodo Dragon vs Gorilla: Physical Defenses

Gorillas use their large size to protect themselves from predators along with their habit of living in packs. Moreover, they’re fast enough to avoid some trouble while also having a threat display that will send many predators packing.

Komodo dragons have strong scales that are reinforced with deposits of bone-like material. Their speed can help them escape some predators but not all. Their ability to run on land and swim well in water also helps them stay safe.

Gorillas have better defenses than Komodo dragons.

Komodo Dragon vs Gorilla: Combat Skills

Komodo dragons are ambush predators that wait for their prey to come to their hiding spots. Once they have identified a potential meal, they will quickly run out to attack it. Sometimes, they will use their tails to trip their foes, and other times they will go directly for bites and use their claws to prevent their foes from escaping.

Gorillas will charge at an enemy that has roused their anger, using their weight to bowl them over. They will use powerful smacks, tearing with their strong hands, attempts to dismember, and bites to inflict devastating wounds on their foes. Like other primates, they will aim for weak spots during their assaults, rapidly overwhelming their victims.

A surprise attack from a Komodo dragon can be ugly, but a gorilla’s attack is truly fearsome.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Komodo Dragon and a Gorilla?

A male silverback mountain gorilla in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

A silverback gorilla is much too powerful for a Komodo dragon to fend off.

A gorilla would beat a Komodo dragon in a fight. Many people believe that Komodo dragons are venomous. While that is true in a sense, they don’t have a venom that will paralyze and knock out their prey. In fact, many of their victims die from exsanguination and brutal soft tissue damage.

Since the Komodo dragon can’t envenomate or overpower the gorilla, it would lose the fight. The fight would probably begin with an ambush, and the Komodo dragon would get first blood.

Yet, with a blood-curdling roar, the gorilla would lash out at the Komodo dragon. It can easily lift and manipulate the lizard, potentially crushing limbs or breaking other bones. With repeated beatings against the ground, bites into the skull, and pure rage, the gorilla would be the victor.

The gorilla would probably sustain some serious wounds as a result, but not enough to kill it.  

Could a Gorilla Beat a Lion in a Fight?

Male Lion Roaring

Lions don’t typically fight alone, but even when isolated they make vicious opponents.

A gorilla would come out on top in almost any confrontation with a komodo dragon in the wild. Lions, on the other hand, would put up a much more vigorous fight. These ferocious feline beasts have a deeply ingrained predatory demeanor which makes them far more relentless in battle than a gorilla, which does not typically become enraged unless provoked. This means that a gorilla would not be the one to land the first blow, and that the lion would not strike until precisely the right moment: more than likely under the shade of night when the night vision of this cat could give it a considerable advantage.

Lions are also incredibly fast, being able to reach a top speed of 35 mph compared to the relatively slow 10 mph that gorillas are capable of running. The ensuing confrontation would thusly likely only last a matter of seconds, and the gorilla would not have time to react and use it’s brutal bite force to retaliate. In the end, a gorilla could not beat a lion in a fight.


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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