The Komodo dragon is the largest lizard in the world. It is a vicious predator.
The Komodo dragon is nearly 10 feet (3 m) long and weighs more than 200 pounds (100 kg). The Komodo dragon has wide jaws, sharp serrated teeth, and excretes venom when it bites. It has sharp claws, short powerful legs that allow it to walk off the ground, and a long, muscular tail that uses as a weapon.
The Komodo dragon has good eyesight and like a snake can “taste” the air with its tongue. The Komodo dragon can run up to 11 miles per hour (18 kph) in short bursts and is an excellent swimmer.
The Komodo dragon eats hoofed animals including pigs, deer, and water buffalos. Komodo dragons will also hunt and kill other Komodo dragons.
The Komodo dragon can detect the scent of its prey up to 3 miles (5 km) away and will lay in wait to ambush and kill its next meal. It can stun and knock to the ground a large animal with a swipe of its tail. The venom in its bite will weaken its prey before it tears away the flesh of its prey with its sharp teeth. Komodo dragon does not chew meat; it tears it from a carcass and then throws it into the air and swallows it whole.
Adult Komodo dragons are mostly solitary, but they will gather in groups at the site of a kill.
Komodo dragons live on Komodo Island and two other islands in Indonesia. Scientists believe they have lived relatively unchanged for millions of years. The scientific name of the Komodo dragon is Varanus komodoensis.