Sunday, June 22, 2008

Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis)

Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis)High Resolution Image (2,348 × 1,284 pixels, file size: 2.02 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg). A young Komodo dragon ( Varanus komodoensis). Thoiry zoo.
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Komodo dragon From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a species of lizard that inhabits the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Gili Dasami, in central Indonesia. A member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2–3 meters (approximately 6.5–10 ft) and weighing around 70 kilograms (154 lb). Their unusual size is attributed to island gigantism, since there are no other carnivorous animals to fill the niche on the islands where they live, and also to the Komodo dragon's low metabolic rate. As a result of their size, these lizards are apex predators, dominating the ecosystems in which they live. Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carrion, they will also hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals.

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