Watch This Indomitable Komodo Dragon Snag a Live Chicken and Swallow It in Mere Seconds

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Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Komodo Dragon, Cut Out, Animal Wildlife, Asia, Asian and Indian Ethnicities

Key Points

  • Although Komodo Dragons are fast, they prefer to use camouflage to catch their prey.
  • A black chicken is chaotically flying from the cover of the grass, trying to evade the Komodo dragon.
  • The video cuts to another scene where the dragon is looking for the chicken.

The way a Komodo dragon eats is intense! Watch the video below to see one hunt a chicken and swallow it whole. At first, you’ll find yourself rooting for the chicken because it manages some great escapes, but soon you realize its fate is sealed.

The Komodo Dragon Tongue

When you’re considering whether food sounds appetizing, you use your sense of smell. For a Komodo dragon, this sense is activated by its extra-long, forked tongue. It uses its tongue as a sampling tool, tasting a little bit of this and a little bit of that to decide where it should focus its efforts.

Once it has used its tongue to get a little sample, it pulls it right back into its mouth, where that scent is communicated to the Jacobson’s organs. Jacobson’s organs are the ultimate analyzers. Although the tongue detects warm-blooded creatures and potential meals, the Jacobson’s organ determines whether the prey is worthwhile, and then, it directs the Komodo toward it.

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Komodo Dragon Hunting Tactics

Komodo dragons eat small prey like rodents and large prey like water



©Raul654 / Creative Commons

Sometimes, a Komodo dragon uses speed to reach prey. They can move fast (up to 13 miles per hour!). Normally, though, they prefer to hang out, using their camouflage as cover. They’re patient, waiting for the perfect moment to overcome their prey. This tactic is best employed with larger prey like water buffalo. But if it’s smaller, they give chase.

Komodo’s Winner Chicken Dinner

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken

The chicken uses grass cover to evade the Komodo dragon.

©Alisha Falcone/

When the video below starts, you can hear the wind blowing as you spot a Komodo dragon in the center left of the screen. It’s shielded a bit by tall bright green grasses and the shade of a tree above it. Within a second, you see a black chicken chaotically flying from the cover of the grass. It starts running on its two little legs, trying to get away from the Komodo dragon. The dragon picks up the pace and gets closer, and when the chicken feels it on its tail, it takes flight for several moments before landing again and continuing its attempt to escape on foot.

The video cuts to another scene where the dragon is looking for the chicken again. The chicken has chosen a different tactic — to hide. You can’t see it in the grass, and neither can the dragon. But it can smell it. The chicken tries to escape again, and the dragon narrowly misses it. As you’re watching, you’re thinking, wow, this is one lucky chicken. But that luck is soon to run out. The video shows several more close encounters until, finally, the dragon chomps down. The chicken yelps, and then you watch, in a close-up and kind of brutal way, just how a dragon eats its prey.

Is It Normal for a Komodo Dragon to Eat a Chicken?

Komodo dragon eat

Like most carnivores, Komodo dragons will eat almost any type of meat.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/

Komodo dragons, renowned for their impressive size and powerful build, have a varied diet that predominantly consists of carrion. While they are known to be opportunistic hunters, capable of taking down large prey such as deer and wild boars, it is not uncommon for them to consume smaller animals like birds as well. The incident captured in the video where a Komodo dragon devoured someone’s chicken does align with their feeding behavior.

In fact, avian species do form part of the Komodo dragon’s natural diet. These formidable reptiles possess remarkable agility and can catch birds in flight or on the ground with surprising speed. Their strong jaws, armed with sharp serrated teeth, enable them to tear through flesh effortlessly.

However, it is important to note that while consuming chickens or other types of birds may occur occasionally in certain circumstances, it does not constitute a significant portion of their overall dietary intake. These apex predators primarily rely on scavenging carcasses left behind by larger animals or ambushing unsuspecting prey within their native habitats – the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar.

How Large Do Komodo Dragons Get?

Apex predator: Komodo dragon

Komodo Dragons usually weigh about 154 lbs.


The Komodo Dragon holds the record as the world’s largest living lizard.

In their natural habitat, these impressive creatures usually weigh around 154 pounds, with the biggest confirmed individual measuring 10.3 feet in length and weighing 366 pounds.

While these mammals are large with particularly gruesome eating habits. Based on Komodo National Park data covering 38 years from 1974 to 2012, there were 24 documented human attacks, with five of them resulting in fatalities.

Males generally surpass females in size and build.

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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