Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Komodo Dragon

I've done nice lizard in I is for Iguana so it's swiftly on to nasty lizard. The Komodo Dragon is the biggest and baddest lizard doing the rounds on the lizard block. If the Iguana will casually sip a cocktail on a balcony, the Komodo will guzzle a pint of super strong lager and then smash the glass in yer face.

This member of the monitor lizard family, is probably the nearest thing you will find to a dinosaur. It can grow as large as 10 feet long and weight 150 lb. Fortunately, you are not likely to come across one in the United States, or indeed Britain, unless you are close to a nuclear facility.

 Komodo dragons are fun at the zoo (Bodlina)

The Komodo is only found on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar. Its size is due to a phenomenon called "island gigantism." There are no other carnivorous animals, so the meat eaters fill the void. Island gigantism is found in other species such as rugby players from Tonga.

Attacks on humans are documented but rare. You are in more danger from a croc. Still you are well advised not to shoot it the bird. The Komodo dragon is able to see as far away as 980 feet.

The Komodo dragon uses its tongue to smell and is a voracious eater. Although they eat mostly carrion, they will sneak up to prey and attack. They can hone in on the smell of a dead or dying animal from a distance of six miles. It's a good idea not to die anywhere near a Komodo dragon.

If you are unwise enough to do lunch with a Komodo, avoid anywhere with Michelin stars.  In fact there is probably nowhere you could take them, apart from Applebee's.

"Komodo dragons eat by tearing large chunks of flesh and swallowing them whole while holding the carcass down with their forelegs. For smaller prey up to the size of a goat, their loosely articulated jaws, flexible skulls, and expandable stomachs allow them to swallow prey whole," states Wikipedia. They can swallow 80 percent of their body weight in one sitting and like to cover their meal in the red saliva that is often blood-tinged, because their teeth are almost completely covered by gingival tissue that is naturally lacerated during feeding.

Mating is also a less than pleasant affair. The males fight for the females, frequently vomiting and defecating as the ground is prepared for the fight.

"The winner of the fight will then flick his long tongue at the female to gain information about her receptivity," states Wikipedia.

Perhaps vexed that he didn't say it with flowers - merely defecation and chucking up -  the female will attack the male with her claws during mating.

The whole Komodo thing really makes me think wistfully of donkeys. Komodos don't even make good handbags, apparently.

Useless Fact About the Komodo Dragon

Phil Bronstein, the former husband of Casino star Sharon Stone, was bitten on the foot by one at Los Angeles zoo.  The keeper had told him to take off his white shoes and socks, because they could excite the animal as they were the same color as the white rats that were lunch. Bronstein had to have several tendons in his foot surgically reattached.

What Not to Say to a Komodo Dragon

Do you want me to take my shoes off?

23 comments:

  1. Interesting facts about these guys. I had no idea their eye sight was so spectacular. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, but apparently they are not so great at night - thx for the visit.

      Delete
  2. I think I dated some guys who ate like the Komodo Dragon. LOL

    TaMara
    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Komodo is kinda cool, kinda creepy. You're doing great, David.

    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks so much Robyn - no shortage of creepy critters xo

      Delete
  4. I've read some gruesome stuff about these komodo dragons & their attacks on people that got too close. *shudder*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know - they don't make great house pets JoJo

      Delete
  5. Komodo dragons are awesome. I watched a documentary that showed they are really smart creatures, capable of problem solving. You might want to add that to your post. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. really Patricia - that does sound like an interesting nugget, thx

      Delete
  6. Eek! I remember watching a scary movie several years ago...I think it was called "Komodo' and of course it was about these gigantic lizards attacking scientists on an island. So, despite the fact that my perception of them was already less than positive...your post managed to add so much to the gag factor that I really dislike them now. The mating ritual did me in for sure lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep Tracy I am always one to boost the positivity factor of my blog subjects, snigger :)

      Delete
  7. I have to say, I love your humor in these posts. There's always something that makes me snicker.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Komodo Dragons are AWESOME!! I always thought I wanted one. Instead we ended up with a Burmese Python.
    Peanut Butter and Whine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hmmm remind me not to drop by for lunch Connie - thx for visiting.

      Delete
  9. Hahahaha this made me laugh a lot! Thanks! :D

    I didn't know these things about the komodo dragon before. Must make sure not to die anywhere near them.

    From the A-Z neighborhood,
    D(ee) is for Deecoded

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Dee - well they must live round the corner from you :)

      Delete
  10. These things scare the heck of out me so I've always been happy for the layer of thick glass between us when I've seen them in zoos. I love lizards and geckos but something about this carnivorous island giant unsettles me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they are indeed popular in zoos Mandy, but they have that cold stare that's rather unnerving :)

      Delete
  11. this animal really need serious protection .unless we could just read the story

    ReplyDelete