Watch a Komodo Dragon Turn Into a Modern-Day Dinosaur and Guzzle Down a Bird

Written by Rachael Monson
Updated: October 25, 2023
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What do Komodo dragons eat? In this case, a Komodo dragon eats a huge bird! Starting off right into the action, this video brings us into a scene of a Komodo dragon chowing down on a streaked shearwater.

Watch a Komodo Dragon Chow Down Below!

The massive lizard swings its head back and forth, smashing the bird’s wings against the ground. Breaking the wings makes the bird easier to swallow. Suddenly, it spits the bird out. It’s still alive! Then, the Komodo dragon takes a moment to consider how to eat the bird. Finally, it grabs hold again and swallows it whole, though not without some effort.

The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) attacks the prey. It is the biggest living lizard in the world.On island Rinca. Indonesia.

Komodo dragons attack and kill their own prey or eat carrion they find.

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©Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com

What Do Komodo Dragons Normally Eat?

Komodo dragons eat meat exclusively, which makes them carnivores. They feed on carcasses of dead animals they come across (carrion). The largest lizard in the world also hunts and kills animals themselves. Common prey items include birds, deer, and pigs, along with much larger prey like water buffalo. Baby Komodo dragons eat smaller prey, such as other lizards, insects, and snakes.

Scientists recently discovered that Komodo dragons are actually venomous. This contradicts previous theories that their bite was so full of bacteria that it killed prey animals over time, and Komodo dragons would later find and eat them. With a bite force of 500-600 psi (pounds per square inch) and 60 serrated shark-like teeth, they might not need to wait for their venom to work. Since Komodo dragons can’t chew, they must bite down and rip pieces from a large kill and swallow them whole. Sometimes, several of the lizards tear apart a kill together.

Komodo dragons eat their prey. Indonesia. Komodo National Park. An excellent illustration.

Komodo dragons sometimes fight over prey, tearing it apart together.

©GUDKOV ANDREY/Shutterstock.com

Where Do Komodo Dragons Live?

Apex predator: Komodo dragon

As its name suggests, the Komodo dragon comes from the Indonesian island of Komodo.

©iStock.com/photomaru

Knowing how dangerous these giant lizards are, you might care to know where they are naturally found. Although some people keep them as pets, this practice is illegal and certainly not recommended! Many zoos also house them for the public to see them up close from a safe distance. The San Diego Zoo even has a Komodo dragon breeding program. Captive Komodo dragons eat rabbits, pigs, beef shanks, and other meats.

Komodo dragons are endemic to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rintja, and Padar. They have not been sighted on Padar since the 1970s, however. Endemic means that a species is only found in that specific area. Some resorts boast the ability to see the wild creatures up close but require taking their tours with a guide for safety. They won’t allow you to get too close because even getting whipped with the tail of these monstrous lizards is extremely painful.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © kiwisoul/ via Getty Images


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About the Author

Rachael Monson is a writer at A-Z-Animals where her primary focus is cats, big and small. She also works as senior veterinary assistant and has been in that field since 2012. A resident of Mississippi, she enjoys spending her off time playing video games with her husband and hanging out with her pets (a Bengal cat named Citrine and Basset Hound/Pomeranian mix dog named Pepsi).

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