Our male Komodo Dragon was born in September of 1998. He is now 8 feet long, weighs around 150 pounds, and likes to spend his days basking in the sun.
Are Komodo Dragons Venomous?
Yes, Komodos are in fact technically venomous. They produce toxins in a specialized venom gland that has ducts running to the top of many of their large serrated teeth to deliver the venom. The venom causes massive changes in blood pressure and contains toxins that are seen in Black Mambas, some of the deadliest snakes in the world.
A bad bite can also cause the victim to simply bleed to death, there are also potent bacteria in a dragon's mouth so strong, they can, and often do, cause fatal gangrenous infections.
All these killing mechanisms enable dragons to feed on larger prey like water buffalo weighing over 1000 pounds. Large dragons have been known to bite a buffalo that wanders too close - the bite is so powerful, it can break the water buffalo's leg, while also infecting the animal with bacteria and introducing venom. They are also patient, and will follow the buffalo for several days until it dies of the infection and blood loss. Once the creature is dead, monitors from miles away will be able to smell it and will congregate to feed. Up to a dozen dragons will partake in the ensuing feeding frenzy.
Learn more about Komodo Dragons
Documented Komodo Dragon Incidents
- More than a dozen people have been killed by dragons in the past 20 years.
- In 1931 a 14 year old boy was bitten on the buttocks and bled to death in 30 minutes.
- In 1947 a policeman from a nearby island attempted to pet a large dragon. It lunged up and literally tore out his bicep. He died of infection a week later.
- A French tourist was killed in 1986. The feeding frenzy left only his bloodstained shoes.
- In 1989 a German tourist was killed by dragons - all that was ever found of him was his mangled glasses.
- In 2010 a young boy was just killed when a Komodo grabbed him by the waist and shook him, the boy bled to death. His body was rescued by his uncle.
Komodo Dragon Fun Facts
- Komodo Dragons are the largest lizards in the world!
- These modern day dragons are native to Indonesia.
- Diet: rodents, fish, snakes, wild goats and pigs, and deer (but they have been known to eat pretty much whatever they can catch or get a good bite into, which includes a foolhardy tourist when the opportunity arises).
- Young dragons are brightly patterned and are more delicately built.
- They spend most of their youth in trees and descend to the ground only when they are large enough to avoid being eaten by larger dragons.
- Adult female dragons can be up to 7.5 feet long. The males are much larger reaching 10 feet in length and can weigh up to 300 pounds.
- The Komodo Dragon is one of the most intelligent of all reptiles and has senses far more advanced than other lizards. Their vision and sense of smell are highly sophisticated - they can distinguish different keepers and even different clothing worn by their keepers.
Conservation Status: Endangered
Komodo Dragons are an endangered species - there are only about 5000 dragons left in the wild due to human threats and natural disasters. Currently, there are approximately 50 Komodos in the United States, many of which are the result of captive breeding programs at several American zoos (they have been successfully bred in captivity for only the past two decades due to their highly specialized husbandry requirements).