Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
 
  Issue 8 Vol 5 August 2010
Komodo Dragons are Popular and Fragile Giants In this Issue

Komodo Dragon


Found on Indonesian islands such as Komodo, Rinca, Gili Montang, and Flores, the Komodo Dragon is a carnivorous lizard that is large in both stature and lore. While this species of large lizard is a popular zoo attraction around the world, it is also an extremely fragile species that has seen a decline in population over the years.

This decline in population has led to their protection and there are now currently many sanctuaries where it is the goal of those running them to help repopulate the world's supply of the Komodo Dragon. Additionally, there is a Komodo National Park in Indonesia that has also been founded in order to help with the protection and repopulation efforts.

Komodo Dragons do indeed look fierce and though they mainly feed on the carcasses of dead animals, they do also hunt some smaller species of birds and other small animals. Their preferred method of attack is ambush and when these giant lizards put their mind to it, they are actually quite adept hunters.

On average these creatures can grow to be between six to nine feet long with some reaching lengths that are even greater. This brings the average weight of these majestic lizards to around 150 pounds. The reason that their size is so great is probably due to the fact that there is no other carnivore that is cable of taking down the large lizard in their region other than humans. Since they are protected by law, human interaction is limited and therefore not very threatening.

Though the size of the Komodo Dragon makes it an ideal and capable hunter of humans, attacks on humans are rare. When humans are attacked it is usually by accidental confrontation and rarely results in more than a bite. While the saliva of the Komodo Dragon is littered with bacteria that would prove eventually deadly, any human that is bitten is able to receive antibiotics in order to stop any ill effects that may occur.

There was a case in 2007 where an eight year old boy was killed by a Komodo Dragon, but this unfortunate death was due to a massive amount of blood loss in the child. The death was the first recorded human death by Komodo Dragon in over 30 years.

The sad fact is that humans have done more harm to the Komodo Dragon by moving in on their territory than the big land lizards could ever do back. Fortunately these reptiles are now protected and will hopefully be on the rebound for many future generations to enjoy while visiting their local zoo.

 

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  1. Komodo Dragons are Popular and Fragile Giants
  2. New Species of Giant Monitor Lizard Discovered in Philippines
  3. Feature Video
  4. In the News
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New Species of Giant Monitor Lizard Discovered in Philippines

Northern Sierra Madre Forest MonitorFor the past ten years there have been rumors of a six for long giant lizard roaming the northernPhilippine forests and recently those rumors have been confirmed. How such a large lizard could be missed is anyone's guess, but nonetheless a new species of monitor lizard has in fact emerged.

The new lizard resembles the Komodo dragon and is actually a relative of the biggest lizard in the world. It has been dubbed the Northern Sierra Madre Forest Monitor Lizard and the huge reptile is colored brightly sporting lots of black and yellow.

While little is known at this stage about the new species of monitor lizard scientists do believe that their bite is not poisonous. They also know that this monitor lizard is unlike its dragon relative in that it eats primarily fruits, not meat.

Researchers say that the reason they feel that the giant lizard has remained undetected for so long is that they mainly live up in the trees and spy down on the forest floor below. Their unique colors make them almost undetectable when in the trees so until the researchers actually captured a male specimen, many though that the tales of such a lizard were simple folk lore.

Researchers are leaning towards the notion that the large monitor is a 'keystone' species. That means that it helps trees by eating some of the fruits. Once eaten and digested, the seeds of the fruit come out the other end of the monitor fully fertilized in its waste and ready to germinate and grow rather quickly.

Though the news is new to the world, for the locals of the Ilongot and Agta tribes news of this lizard is nothing out of the ordinary. According to elder tribesmen, they have been very aware of the massive monitor for some time now and have actually been relying on the meat from the lizard as a steady source of food.

Once again researchers have found yet another undiscovered species of life in the lush and relatively unspoiled forests of the Sierra Madre. While this treasure trove of life continues to produce new and exciting discovers, for those in the reptile world, this is the biggest piece of news to come out in quite some time.


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Bearded Dragon Health Tips


Bearded Dragon Health Tips -- powered by eHow.com

 

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In the News

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