Last Reviewed and Updated on August 1, 2022
Komodo dragons are one of the world’s most impressive and feared lizards. They can only be found on a few Indonesian islands, Komodo island being the most well-known one. Read through these interesting facts about Komodo dragons, from their eating habits to their impressive abilities.
1. They are the world’s largest lizards
They might not be the world’s largest or longest reptile, as that honor belongs to the reticulated pythons, but when it comes to lizards, Komodo dragons are the largest.
In the wild, these lizards average 8.5 ft / 2.5 m and weigh about 190 lbs / 85 kg. In captivity, they can grow a bit more and weigh more.
2. Young Komodo dragons are arboreal
While adult Komodo dragons can’t climb trees, young ones can and, in the early years of their life, will spend a lot of their time in trees.
3. Komodo dragons are apex predators
Apex predators (top predators) are animals that are on top of the food chain and do not have natural predators in their environment.
4. They are cannibalistic
There is a good reason why young Komodo dragons reside on trees, where the adult animals can’t go – Komodo dragons have no objections when it comes to hunting and eating the members of their own species.
Juvenile dragons can make up 10% of adult Komodo dragons’ diet.
5. They can reproduce sexually and asexually
This is one of the most interesting facts about Komodo dragons. Under normal conditions, male and female Komodo dragons will mate for this species to reproduce. But asexual reproduction in captivity was observed on more than one occasion, where a female laid eggs without fertilization, and male Komodo dragons hatched.
Think this is odd? You are going to love our list of 100 weirdest animal facts.
6. Komodo dragons are venomous
It was once believed that the saliva of the Komodo Dragons was full of septic bacteria and that the saliva was what helped these animals in bringing down their prey. But studies showed their saliva isn’t all that different from other carnivores.
In 2009 it was discovered that these lizards have venomous glands.
7. They smell with their tongues and have an exceptional sense of smell
Just like many other reptiles, the Komodo dragon detects smell stimuli with its tongue. It “catches” the smells (compounds) by flicking its tongue and touching and transferring the smells onto Jacobson’s organ located just above the roof of the mouth.
They can detect carrion at great distances, even up to 5.9 miles / 9.5 km.
8. They can swim
And they can swim really well.
9. They may ram against a tree to force large food down their throat
These lizards can tackle large prey. They will swallow whole prey that is up to the size of a goat. If the prey is larger, they will tear large chunks and swallow them whole.
To speed things up, they may ram the carcass against the tree to force it down their throats.
10. Komodo dragons can eat meals up to 80% of their body weight in one sitting
They can eat a lot in one go. A Komodo dragon weighing 190 lbs / 85 kg can eat 152 lbs / 68 kg in a single sitting. They can survive with just about 12 meals a year.