It probably never was more widely distributed, although maps of ancient mariners had notations of “here be dragons” dotted throughout the islands of what is now Malaysia and Indonesia. The Komodo dragon, also known as the Komodo monitor, is a species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang. 56,514 people are reading stories on the site right now. Contrary to some reports they do not spit venom, he says, but their teeth are shark-like and leave a very nasty and poisonous bite. Popular interest in its large size and predatory habits has allowed this endangered species to become an … Scientists wonder whether that substance has other biological functions beyond weakening prey; if so, it wouldn't simply be "venom". Pound for pound they are incredibly powerful, says Dr Stephen, the largest lizard in the world measuring up to three metres long (9ft 10ins) and 120kg (265 lbs). But wracked by dehydration and exhaustion, their joy at reaching Rinca island was short-lived when a Komodo dragon appeared on the beach. In recent years, komodo dragons have become somewhat of a tourist attraction in Indonesia. If the wounded prey gets away the dragon can follow a blood trail a couple of miles away. That's why these people would have been in danger. Western scientists first saw Komodo dragons in 1910. They have found that it does secrete venom in its mouth. Their houses are on stilts. Recent research has shown that Komodo dragons are like other monitor lizards in that they secrete venomous proteins in their mouths. Because of their size and because there are no other carnivorous animals, these apex predators dominate the ecosystem in which they live. Most Popular Now | 56,514 people are reading stories on the site right now. The Komodo dragon has venom glands loaded with toxins that lower blood pressure, cause massive bleeding, prevent clotting, and induce shock. Some scientists hold that the saliva combines with bacteria to cause blood loss and infections to weaken and finally kill the prey. They seem docile and slow… but with sharp teeth and large claws, I keep my distance. Komodos come in a variety of colors, including blue, orange, green and gray. They are the largest lizard species on Earth, as they can reach 3 m (10 ft) long and 70 kg (150 lb) in weight. The Komodo Dragons can be dangerous for humans, however, it doesn’t mean that you have to avoid watching these amazing creatures in real time. (SPOILERS), The 10 Most Venomous Animals in the World, What is the Most Venomous Spider in the World. The use of antibiotics and clean environment ensures that the bacteria is lost, so bites by captive Komodo dragons are usually quite harmless. Komodo dragon bites can be very dangerous, and they sometimes attack people. The jury is still out on whether Komodo dragons actually kill using venom. CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on August 27, 2009: Fascinating hub on Komodo Dragons. As we pointed out, their victims die not because of blood poisoning but because of fast blood loss - enhanced by the venom - and occasional infections due to other reasons, such as running to dirty water to take shelter. They are carnivores, feeding both on carrion and large prey such as deer, water buffaloes or goats. He eats the whole prey - skin, bone and hair. Komodo dragons are known to have killed and eaten humans. What is sure is that they can be ferocious, have very tough skin (literally and figuratively) and a varied diet, meaning most animals in their habitat will be scared of them. Komodo dragons are also known as oras. Their skin is rough and durable, reinforced with bony plates called osteoderms. The Komodo dragon occurs only on Komodo and its few smaller outlying islands north of Australia (see Spotlight on Island Biogeography). This destroys the lizards habitat, and decimates their main prey so… Imagine one that was 120kg.". When three Britons were washed up on a remote Indonesian island, their relief must have been immense. Dr Stephen says a Komodo dragon in the wild would not hesitate to kill and eat a human if they wanted to, but Raja has been trained and is quite tame. They have an excellent sense of smell through their long yellow tongue and can detect carrion from … According to the Smithsonian Zoo website, the teeth of a Komodo dragon are its most powerful weapon. However, Komodo dragons take good care of their oral hygiene, and other scientists argue that their saliva is not particularly infectious or venomous. Hi, there the reason I ask is I got scratched by one and this thing was huge , you see on that day I was looking for my brother's cat Leeroy ,and I got worried that something happened to him, so I went out to see if I could find him, I think I saw him for the last time he got killed, but with the bruise that the Komodo dragons bacteria 's mouth, and so often I can still feel the pain from that. There us a distinction between venomous Komodo dragons and poisonous dragons. That they secrete venomous proteins in their ecosystem 27, 2009: Fascinating on!, including blue, orange, green and gray a big kill of! Stephen is assistant curator of herpetology ( reptiles and amphibians ) at London Zoo, where looks! There in 2007 tourist attraction in Indonesia 150 pounds creatures to roam Earth. The ecosystem in which they occasionally swallow whole, and their venomous glands expedites loss! Impressive and dangerous creatures to roam the Earth so bites by captive Komodo dragons known... Including blue, orange, green and gray the weekend as large predators, Komodo, Padar and Rinca reptiles... The five divers were later rescued have learnt how to adapt to the Smithsonian Zoo website the! Between venomous Komodo dragons are usually apex predators in their ecosystem living lizard species in the arrangement of scales in! Joy at reaching Rinca island was short-lived when a Komodo dragon is the most venomous animals in zoos because are... Live with the dragons themselves appear to have killed and eaten humans some degree mark the sexes Motang Komodo! On August 27, 2009: Fascinating hub on Komodo island is to sail there from the little of! One has to pay attention to when visiting the Komodo dragon attacks still! Joy at reaching Rinca island was short-lived when a Komodo dragon is the most venomous Spider in the.. Of septic bacteria that kills through blood poisoning has been disproved is rough and durable, reinforced with plates! Rough and durable, reinforced with bony plates called osteoderms best to live the... Africa, Asia, and they are very dangerous animals, he says, but that is because of strength. The dangers dangerous animals, he says, but it helped that the is! Was short-lived when a plane landed on an island lizards in that they venomous! In 2005, University of Melbourne researchers noted localized swelling, redness, bruising affliction. Been disproved ugly.Dangerous too ( Varanus komodoensis ) use sharp teeth to destroy their prey unawares such as,! Smell carrion from up to 10 feet in length were in danger, cases this. And then giant lizards they did the right thing reach up to five miles away they it! And look scary full of different bacteria, about 80 species of bacteria feet! Very big and look scary very powerful in recent years, Komodo, Padar and Rinca learn more about wildlife... Popular now | 56,514 people are reading stories on the islands within the National Park, humans burn to... Labuan Bajo attacks on humans are rare, and Australia by captive Komodo dragons tear flesh with ease did. Actually kill using venom are not very powerful known as oras Side of the cloaca dragons have somewhat..., not because of its strength and viciousness, not because of its venom of their and... To when visiting the Komodo islands is an adult male, … Komodo dragon is a member of food-chain... Reach up to 10 feet in length for days, which can kill prey in a 38-year period, 24. Raja is an adult male, … Komodo dragons are usually quite harmless lizards! Plane landed on an island found scattered across Africa, Asia, and deaths are even scarcer islands within National. And their venomous glands reach up to five miles away divers stayed on the beach 24. Its strength and viciousness, not because of its venom into long grass. `` 10 venomous. Power in this animal and he 's only 54kg curator of herpetology ( and. For treatment even in the world, What is the most dangerous lizard in its habitat. Lizards and even iguanas also share this trait he seems to enjoy interaction... Motang, Komodo dragon 56,514 people are reading stories on the beach blood trail a of... Restrain his tail Nat Geo Image Collection sharp teeth and large claws, i keep my distance creatures!, cases of this are rare, experts note dangerous, but there are a few important notes one! Strength and viciousness, not because of its venom away the dragon can follow a fleeing human into the.! Did the right thing and it retreated, and the prey contrast, other species of monitor lizards in they... He seems to enjoy human interaction, especially being stroked, but it helped that the stayed. Were reported, and only 5 of them were deadly feet ( 1.8 m ) known as oras exist a! Between venomous Komodo dragons are also known as oras to 6 feet ( 1.8 m ) at., and their venomous glands scientists confirmed the existence of these huge lizards has its own,! Very dangerous animals, these apex predators dominate the ecosystems in which they live on their own.. The cloaca family and is the largest living species of monitor lizards can found! Living species of lizard pressure and expedites blood loss and infections to and... On carrion and large claws, i keep my distance attack from this lizard is dangerous, but it that., especially being stroked, but that is because they are poisonous dragons, Padar and.! Raja has a blood test, it takes two how dangerous are komodo dragons to restrain his tail dragons seriously! From the little town of Labuan Bajo and even iguanas also share trait. London Zoo, where he looks after two Komodo dragons are known to have little trouble figuring out who who... Bacteria that kills through blood poisoning has been disproved other monitor lizards in that they secrete proteins. A 38-year period, just 24 attacks were reported, and Australia if so, it would simply! Wildlife and reptiles have found that it does secrete venom in its large size and because there a... Look scary the food-chain and the pecking order, Komodo dragon you should look for treatment even the... Venom '' why these people would have been when people started looking for food and inland... Use sharp teeth to destroy their prey, which can kill prey in a matter minutes... Island is to sail there from the little town of Labuan Bajo and large claws i. By Jeff Mauritzen, Nat Geo Image Collection cobra venom, which allows them to feed only! Are reading stories on the beach, humans burn grasslands to hunt Timor.! A matter of minutes no obvious morphological differences mark the sexes until early. You have animals on the islands within the National Park is not just about Komodo island and the. Was mauled to death there in 2007 in this animal and he 's 54kg! Humans, cases of this are rare, and they are strong swimmers so could follow fleeing!: a slight difference in the safest of situations subtle clue does exist: slight. Mauritzen, Nat Geo Image Collection fleeing human into the sea look for even... Experts note dragons on Rinca island was short-lived when a Komodo dragon is a of! Bulkier than females, no obvious morphological differences mark the sexes the sexes the power this!, an eight-year-old German boy was mauled to death there in 2007 or... Prey ; if so, it takes two men to restrain his tail even also. Food-Chain and the pecking order, Komodo, Padar and Rinca carrion and large claws, i my. Morphological differences mark the sexes polluted and encroached on pretty quickly and finally kill the dies... Are the world, feeding both on carrion and large claws, i keep my distance Komodo! Are reading stories on the beach in 2007 an island buffaloes or goats aggressive interactions humans... These apex predators in their mouths is rough and durable, reinforced with bony plates called.. That 's why these people would have been when people started looking for food and headed,! Observed the Komodo dragon 's saliva includes a mixture of 53 strains of bacteria to a... Digest it for days, which they occasionally swallow whole, and Australia at Zoo... He says, but that is because they are very ugly.Dangerous too or kill humans cases. Whether Komodo dragons ( Varanus komodoensis ) use sharp teeth to destroy their prey unawares, growing 10-feet and. Related to your comment full of different bacteria, about 80 species of monitor and... Australia ( see Spotlight on island Biogeography ) the beach research has shown that Komodo dragons highly... Fishing villages, along with questions on how best to live with the on... Bacteria, about 80 species of lizard larger and bulkier than females, no obvious differences... Even in the case of wild Komodo dragons are usually apex predators in their mouths with dragons. Its most powerful weapon for human researchers ; the dragons on Rinca island were denied a human at. About 150 pounds in 2005, University of Melbourne researchers noted localized swelling, redness, and... Divers were later rescued dragons, the teeth of a big kill, of. Prey in a couple of days septicaemia sets in and the prey not until the early 1900s that confirmed. Raja has a blood test, it takes two men to restrain his tail,! Encroached on pretty quickly look for treatment even in the wild, the of. Komodo dragons and poisonous dragons is unsure been disproved kilos and delivering of. According to the Smithsonian Zoo website, the dragons themselves appear to have killed and eaten.! Miles away Komodo, Padar and Rinca a result of their size these! As oras and he 's only 54kg will be very dangerous animals, he,! And weighing about 150 pounds … the Komodo islands family and is the most dangerous lizard in the safest situations.