The way a Komodo dragon eats is intense! Watch the video at the bottom of the page 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.
Komodo Dragon Hunting Tactics
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
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.
Watch the Wild Footage Below!
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