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Komodo Dragon

VARANUS KOMODOENSIS

Quick Facts

Scientific name: Varanus komodoensis
Class: Reptile
Length: Males: up to 10 feet; Females: up to 8 feet
Weight: up to 176 pounds (80 kilograms)
Life span: 25 to 30 years
Number of eggs: 7 to 60
Incubation: 8 to 9 months
Size at hatching: 8 inches (20 centimeters)
Age of maturity: 5 years
Conservation status: Endangered

About

Island dweller

The Komodo dragon lives on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Padar, Rinca, and Flores. They stay mostly in the grasslands and open forests near water.


A scavenger AND a cannibal?

Yes, in addition to carrion (dead and decaying animals), deer, wild pigs, and eggs, the Komodo dragon will actually eat other young Komodo dragons. Meanwhile, smaller Komodo dragons eat insects, birds, rodents, and small mammals. At the zoo, our Komodo dragon eats mice, rats, and rabbits.


An intimidating presence

Komodo dragons are the world’s largest lizard species. They have a massive gray-black body with well-developed arms and legs, each of which ends in five talon-like claws. A Komodo dragon also has a large, pointed head and elongated neck. Their deeply forked tongue is used to detect smells.


The dragon’s life

Komodo dragons are active during the day and sleep at night. They prefer to live alone, and are good climbers and swimmers. Komodo dragons hide and wait for prey to come across their path. They then use their powerful bite, strong tail, and sharp claws to capture their meal. The Komodo dragons are the largest of all lizards mostly due to their massive, powerful tails, which they will thrash to defend themselves from enemies.


Safety colors

Hatchlings are born with a yellow and black pattern which helps young Komodo dragons hide from predators by camouflaging them in their environment.

 

Conservation

Learn more about our efforts, our conservation partners around the world, and the simple steps you can take to contribute.

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