The Komodo Dragon is a unique carnivorous animal because of their diet, appearance and size. A mental picture of the carnivore looks like an illustration on a monster movie poster--a 12 foot long lizard-looking meat eating monster weighing up to 300 pounds and capable of being either a scavenger or capturing their prey live.
What is their diet? Simply, their diet is any living or dead animal that they are capable of gulping down. For example, the Komodo Dragon makes an easy meal of pigs, birds, deer, and even younger Komodo Dragons. In a fascinating way, the predator is able to swim to hunt birds or fish. Due to their light weight, young Komodo Dragons are able to climb objects such as trees until they become much heavier adults. The adult…show more content… There is very limited human habitation on the islands and the dragons are responsible for bringing an increasing number of tourists to the islands, thus increasing their importance to the habitat, because of the remoteness of the islands. Though they are afraid of this dangerous animal, local residents appreciate the economic advantages of living near this unique animal. Trade is prohibited and the dragons are protected from poaching, because of their environment, but Komodo Dragons are endangered partly because of their limited range. Some illegal activity still takes place, and the villagers even reduce the population sometimes by putting out poison baits. On the islands, the dragons range from the beach to ridge tops in tropic forest. Some Komodo Dragons are housed in educational public sites such as the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach and the National Zoo where visitors can see the monster outside of its natural…show more content… They have a small hearing range. With limited vision and hearing, they rely on their sense of smell, their power, and their patience to catch their prey. They may spend hours in one spot, waiting for a large animal to come within attaching distance. Then they attach and tear the other animal to pieces, ripping it apart with its strong muscles and powerful claws and large, serrated, curved teeth. Dragon saliva has over 50 strains of bacteria and the bitten victim usually dies within 24 hours from blood poisoning. The dragon’s patience pays off in this situation, because it patiently follows the bitten victim for hours until the victim dies. The venom from the Komodo Dragon’s bite is deadly to other animals—but it is interesting that the Komodo bite is not deadly to another Komodo. Scientists are studying this phenomenon now to see why this is true.
The Komodos are predators at the top of the food chain and are cannibalistic. They eat more efficiently than most other large carnivores, leaving only 12 percent of their prey opposed to the normal 25 to 30 percent left by lions. They eat bones, hooves, intestines (after slinging the feces from them), and even the hides. The younger Komodos use a survival technique to protect them from the carnivorous adult Komodos by rolling in the feces. This gives them a scent that the adult dragons