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Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is belongs to the group known as monitor lizards, from the ancient belief the creatures monitor or warn, of the presence of crocodiles. This largest species of monitor lizard, which are found throughout Asia, Africa, and Australia. The natives call the dragon ora, or buaya darat (land crocodile).

Fossils strikingly similar to the dragon date back 130 million years. The creatures has been extinct everywhere but there since the Jurassic period. The area's isolation and strong ocean currents ensured the lizard’s survival.

This lizards can lift up their heavy tails and beliefs to sprint at up to 18 km per hour, but only for short distances.

Dragon also enter the sea and swim, sometimes against strong tidal currents up to 1,000 meters to offshore islets. They can plunge to depths of four meter, easily swimming 100 meters while submerged.

 

They have the smallest permanent habitat range of any of the world’s great carnivores. Confined to Komodo, Padar, Rinca, Uwada, Sami, Gili motong and western Flores, their total area comprises just under 1,000 square km.

Body Form
The longest specimen ever recorded was a male in the St. Louis Zoo that measured 3.13 meters from tail to snout. Villagers in the Lenteng area of Flores swear that 3.5 meter long ora live in the vicinity, and through the years there have been absurd, unsubstantiated reports of dragons up to 14.5 meters long. Adults can weigh 150 kg, but most full-grown specimens are 1.7 – 1.8 meters long and average 35 kg in weight. Females attain only two-thirds the size of the average male.

Coloration changes from speckled, multihued, greenish-yellow sub adult to the standard dappled gray adults, large male specimens have yellowish-green spots on their snouts. The clay color camouflages the mature ora as it waists in ambush, while the coloration of the young protects as they scamper through leafy trees.

 

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