by Zen Kent
Komodo Dragons are about 10 feet long and weigh 220-300lbs, which is the size of a small car and weight of 3 people! Their claws are 4 inches long and are like knives. Their teeth are 2 inches long, triangular shaped and are notched like a saw. Their tapered tail is about half of their body. Their eyes are about 1 inch around and are black. Their tongue is an amazing 2 feet long and shaped like a 2-prong fork and they are yellow... Weird!
When the Komodo, sometimes called an Ora, is wet it looks beautiful because its scaley skin captures beads of water and sparkles.
Pirates from passing ships thought the monsters might be covered with gems but were too afraid to go ashore.
Komodo lizards live on several islands in Indonesia: Rintja, Padar, Flores, Gila Mota, and Owadi Sami but mostly on Komodo Island. This place has hills and a little bit of rainforest. Komodo dragons aren't alone; Goats, wild pigs and monkeys also live there. Komodo Island is cool, but very dangerous. Why is it dangerous? Living on the island with the man-eating dragons are poisonous snakes, scorpions, and poisonous spiders. In the water surrounding the island there are sharks, whirlpool, rip tides and tidalwaves. The area often has earthquakes and there is volcanic ash and smoke in the air. A good place for a picnic...not!
Komodo dragons eat only meat. They don't really care if their meal is dead or alive when they find it. If it's alive they can run extremely fast (but only for short distances) to bite the creature that they are chasing. Ora's teeth are sunken into fleshy gums so decay amd germs act like venom to the victim. The Ora does not always kill its prey right away. They can wait days for the creature to die from infections. Since it takes weeks to digest, they can only eat about 12 meals a year, so what's a few days? When they are done stuffing themselves they must lie in the sunshine to digest. Without the sun's heat the meat in their stomach would fester and rot and the Komodo would die.
In the summer the Komodo Dragon digs a hole in the ground to live in when it wants to get a girlfriend. She must approve of the hole. So those 4 inch claws come in handy! Komodos fight each other to protect their nests. The girl Komodo lays about 12 eggs and it takes 8 months for them to hatch. Nobody takes care of them and when they are born everything wants to eat them - including Komodos! If they survive they grow about a foot a year until they are about 6 feet long. They only live about 20 years, so maybe that girlfriend thing isn't too bad.
The Komodo dragon does not taste things like we do. Its tongue is its nose and does the tasting, too! A little space in front of the dragons mouth lets the tongue out without having to open its mouth. It flicks its tongue in and out all the time. They sleep duing the night and can't move until the sunshine warms them up. Then they can even climb trees! They are also good swimmers.
Inconclusion, I think the Komodo Dragon is the coolest animal I have ever read about in books. I wish I had one for a pet but my mom would 'hecka' not like it!
Wild Life Fact File by Tom Stack
Komodo Dragon on Location by Kathy Darling
Komodo Dragons by Thane Maynard