The Largest Lizard on the Planet
This is a blog about naked sailing, so why are we talking about lizards? Well, one of the experiences on Everything To Sea’s voyages takes you to some of the most remote Indonesian islands, where you will come across the rare Komodo dragon. And, they are fascinating! For starters, did you know that females don’t need a male to get pregnant?
If you were to search the words “bucket list” and “Komodo dragon” you’ll find many travel enthusiasts that discuss their desire to “someday” see the great Komodo dragon.
The dragons are found on the islands of the Indonesian archipelago – Komodo, Rinca, Gili Motang, and the island of Flores.
Here are five amazing facts about the dragon according to Earthnworld.com:
- They are the largest species of lizards, and can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh approximately 200 pounds.
- The carnivorous species love to eat pigs, deer, snakes, fish, and water buffalos. However, adult Komodo dragons are cannibals that can eat their own species. Roughly 10% of their diet is made of newly hatched Komodo dragon babies.
- The animal’s species has a forked tongue just like snakes, which help them in locating their prey, usually by smell. They are capable of smelling carrion from up to five miles away, by first using their flickering forked tongues. In doing so, they pick up microscopic taste particles, literally tasting the air.
- The Komodo dragons prefer to hunt during the day because they aren’t able to see clearly at night. They also have a poor sense of hearing.
- The lifespan of the animal species is 30 years in the wild and only a few years in captivity.
And they are really something:
– They don’t kill their prey directly with a bite. Instead, their mouths are stewing with about 60 different strains of bacteria, which infect the species only after its bite. The infection is considered very dangerous, because sepsis sets in within hours, and death usually occurs within a day.
– The World Animal Foundation estimates the current number of Komodo dragons to be around 6,000. They are currently an endangered species.
– Komodo dragons can eat 80% of their body weight in one sitting.
– The Komodo dragon also has an edge to other species in terms of sustainability. Incredibly, females don’t need a male to get pregnant. The female can have “virgin births.” The drawback here is that they are only able to birth female dragons. Mating with a male is still needed to have male and female offspring. The mating process also tends to be very aggressive, as the males will fight over females and their territory.
The dragons aren’t known to attack people, but it has happened at least four times in the last several decades. Our treks to see the dragons are always done with park wardens in Komodo National Park, and they are carefully trained in safely managing the creatures. Come travel with us – for the nudity AND the dragons!