Sunday, June 8, 2008

Komodo Dragon

The largest living lizard, the Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis, attains a total length of up to 3 m (10 ft) and an average weight of 136 kg (300 lb). These giant lizards live only in the vicinity of Indonesia, for example, on Komodo island, for which they are named. They are representative of the monitor Lizard family, Varanidae. Like other monitors, Komodo dragons are carnivorous, feeding on animals as large as small deer and bush pigs. Like other large monitors, they can be formidable adversaries, even for humans, if actually cornered. Young Komodo dragons climb trees, but adults, far too large to be arboreal, dig burrows or spend hot daylight hours under bushes, coming out in the morning and evening. Like several other monitors, Komodo dragons swim well. These reptiles are endangered and are under strict protection by the Indonesian government.

The Komodo dragon is a relative of the extinct 7 m (23 ft) reptile V. pricus, whose remains have been found in Quatenary deposits in Australia. The origin Komodo is from Komodo Island that is located in Nusatenggara Timur (East Nusatenggara) island in Indonesia.

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