How do you know what is cooking for dinner while passing by the kitchen? By the smell; you will answer. But how do you smell? Silly question! Obviously through the nose! But what if there is someone who can smell with its tongue? Yes, the Komodo dragon.
Surprised? Nature has a lot of surprises in store for your little ones. Each member of the animal kingdom is unique with their own special features. The Komodo Dragons are no different.
In this article, we have listed some Komodo dragons facts for kids. We hope you find it useful and share the knowledge with your children. Happy reading.
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Komodo Dragons for Kids
Kids get excited at the name of Dragons. They have a whole different imagination regarding such creatures. While Komodo Dragons, apart from having some features like dragons, are not actually dragons. They are still interesting animals to know about. Let us find out how.
1. Komodo Dragons are not Dragons
As their name suggests, they are not actually dragons. They belong to the lizard family. They got their name while discovered during the First World War. They are majorly found on the Komodo Islands of Indonesia and four other islands of the country.
They are found nowhere else. Since they have some features like dragons and are found on Komodo islands, they got their name as Komodo Dragons.
2. The biggest lizards found on earth
They are the biggest lizards found on the earth’s surface. They can be as big as 10 ft in length. They have got tails as long as their body length. They weigh around 300 pounds. They are this big due to living in isolated islands.
It is a fact that animals that live in isolation tend to get bigger than their other species. And even with such huge bodies, they can run fast and catch prey. They are the heaviest lizards found with scaly bodies. They are known to eat any kind of meat they find near them.
3. They are carnivorous
They can choose to feed on any type of meat. Be it bird eggs, snake eggs, fishes, reptiles, large animals like deers, buffalos, bears, snakes, skinks, and various rodents. The baby dragons feed mainly on insects like grasshoppers and beetles.
They also attack goats while near human habitats. They can also attack humans but the cases of manhunting by them have been reported as very low and occasional. They can feed on humans after they kill them.
4. Komodo Dragons are cannibals
If not found anything worth eating, Komodo dragons are known for eating their own hatchlings. They can feed on the young Komodo dragons whenever they feel like it, even if they can find enough prey around them.
The baby dragons after hatching from the eggs, climb on trees instinctively. This way they protect themselves from their parents and other Komodo dragons nearby from eating them. They also do not share burrows the same as their parents with the fear of being killed.
5. Their venom is poisonous
Komodo dragons are very poisonous animals. Their lower jaw secretes many toxic proteins. Their venom is very much fatal and their bite can cause death, in merely a few hours, in humans.
They hunt on various animals and along with biting their prey with short shark-like teeth, their saliva causes instant death in animals.
It can still be treated in humans although there is no antidote for their venom. It can cause infection in humans but if the bite is severe, death in humans is possible.
6. They smell through their tongue
Even though they are provided with nostrils, those are not what they use for smelling their prey. They are very good smell detectors and that is their primary way of catching prey.
They use their forked tongue to smell the air and that is how they find which type of animal is around. This is a weird and interesting fact about them. They can smell their prey from about 6 miles away.
7. Komodo dragons are grave robbers
They are known to be fast animals that help them to catch their prey. But they do not always hunt.
Komodo dragons are scavengers who are known for their carcass hunting. They are able to locate a carcass which is even located 5.9 miles away with their strong sense of smell. They have a good vision as well which helps. They can see clearly up to 985 feet.
To ease the swallowing of the carcass, the Komodo dragon rams the carcass against the tree which can even knock down the tree. The locals cover the graves of deceased people with rock and clay to protect the body from these grave robbers.
8. They can both run and swim
Komodo dragons are known to run as fast as average human beings. They can run 12 miles per hour. They are known to run to catch their prey. They can also swim in water like other lizards.
In fact, they are excellent swimmers. Found in the five islands of Indonesia, they can swim from one island to the other in search of food. They can swim for long distances and are often found miles away from the shore.
9. They are existing for 900,000 years
Although the Komodo dragons have been discovered at the time of the First World War, they are known to be around for millions of years.
In fact, some fossils found in eastern Australia claims that the dragons have originated in Australia even though found in Indonesia only and nowhere else.
The fossils similar to the Komodo dragons date back to some 4 million years ago. Though the current species is known to have been existing for 900,000 years.
10. Their skin is bulletproof
The scaly monocoque body of the Komodo dragons is bulletproof. Fascinating, isn’t it? They have naturally bulletproof skin and they can survive bullets from a handgun or a lower caliber rifle.
Even though they cannot be killed easily through bullets, they are being hunted and killed by humans leading to their extinction. Various other factors are leading to the loss of their habitats and now they are vulnerable as the endangered species.
11. They have a large gap in between their meals
Komodo dragons can survive on almost 12 meals a year. Considering the size of these big lizards, they are not known to have frequent diets. The reason behind this is their slow metabolism.
They eat almost 80% of their body weight in a single meal and hence do not require eating again for very long. They are cold-blooded animals and that is why prefer warm and hot places. They need to be exposed to the sun to digest what they eat.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When the Komodo dragon was first discovered, it was known to have dragon-like features and was discovered on the Komodo islands. Hence the name.
Komodo dragon belongs to the monitor lizard family. The Komodo dragon is one of the largest lizard species found on the earth.
There is only one species of Komodo Dragons found on the earth and that too on the Indonesian Islands. They are from the lizard family but they are only one of a kind.
Komodo dragons are carnivores. They eat snakes, bird eggs, turtle eggs, rodents, skinks, monkeys, birds, buffaloes, goats, and many such animals.
They have short shark-like sharp teeth. Their teeth are the strongest weapon they have. They can tear the flesh of animals they eat easily with those sharp teeth.
Komodo dragons can survive on merely 12 meals per year. They eat approximately 80% of their own body weight every time they feed. They have a slow metabolism rate hence they feed less.
They are known to be cannibalistic. If they do not find anything to feed on, they will feed on their own babies. The young ones do not share the same burrows as their parents because of this very reason.
Even though they have nostrils, they do not use them to smell their prey. They use their forked tongues to smell.
They can grow to be around 10 ft in length and weigh approximately 300 pounds.
Komodo dragons are of grey or light tan color.
Their venom is poisonous and their bite is infectious. Humans can die within hours when bitten by a Komodo dragon.
They can attack humans and kill and eat them. But they are occasional manhunters.
They are considered very dangerous as their saliva contains toxic bacteria. Their venom is poisonous and their teeth are sharp like sharks which can tear apart any animal easily.
They live in caves, burrows, on trees. They prefer hot and dry places but have also been seen living in swamps. They live in grasslands, scrublands, and tropical forests.
Komodo dragons are found in four islands namely Komodo, Rinca, Gili Montana, and Gili Dasami in southeastern Indonesia.
These largest lizards on earth have been around for 900,000 years.
They have been known to survive for around 30 years in the wild.
They can run nearly as fast as an average human being, that is, 12.4 miles per hour.
Baby Komodo dragons can climb trees easily as compared to adult ones. They climb on the trees as soon as they hatch from the eggs to avoid being eaten by their parents or any other Komodo dragons nearby.
They are vulnerable due to loss of habitats, human disturbances, volcanic activities, tourism, forest fires, hunting, and killing.
The monocoque body of the Komodo dragons can withstand low-caliber rifle and handgun bullets very easily.
These were some amazing Komodo dragon facts for kids. We hope that you had a good time reading the article and learned something interesting in the process. Share the interesting facts with your kids and have fun learning about this exotic animal.