|At 10 feet in length, the Komodo dragon is the largest true lizard that has ever lived on land. It is the top predator on the small islands on which it lives.|
HABITSThe small Idonesian islands on which the Komodo dragon lives are hilly and sparsely covered with rainforest. The lowland areas consist mainly of open grassland and palm tress. Despite their small size, these islands support a wide range of subtropical plants and animals.
Komodo dragons mate in late June or July. During this period, males may come into conflict with each other as they defend their territories.
Five weeks after mating, the female digs a hole in the warm, moist earth and
an average of a dozen eggs. The exact number and size of the eggs she lays
vary depending on the age and size of the female. She then covers them and
leaves them to incubate unattended, relying on the sum to keep them at the
Komodo dragons will eat anything they can catch and overpower, including other Komodo dragons. Favorite prey include wild pigs, deers, and monkeys.
Though Komodos can move quickly, they can do so only over short distances. So they hunt by ambush, waiting for prey to wander into range, then seizing it in their jaws.
Younger Komodos are more mobile than adults, and they will actively hunt small mammals, nestling birds, and insects. Once prey is caught, the Komodo holds it in its claw and rips off chunks of flesh with its teeth.
Komodos also eat carrion.
Komodo dragons, like most cold-blooded reptiles, sleep during the night. As the sun rises and warms their blood, they become active, awaking from their resting places among tree roots and rocks and set out in search of food.
Despite their great size, Komodo dargons are quick-moving and agile on the ground. They occasionally climb trees, gripping them with their large, powerful claws. They are also good swimmers, taking long, powerful strokes with their tails.
When the usually solitary Komodo dragons meet, they establish a clear pecking order based on size.
Length: Males, 10ft. Females, slightly smaller
Weight: Adults, 220-300 lb.
Sexual maturity: 6 years
Mating: June or July
Number of Eggs: Average of 12
Incubation: 8 months
Habit: Usually solitary, but come together to breed and to feed on carrion (dead flesh)
Diet: Small mammals, pigs, deer, and monkeys
Lifespan: Estimated at 20 years
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