The world’s largest lizard species returns
to New York’s Bronx Zoo when an exhibit called “Amazing Monitors” opens on Saturday. The zoo’s three Komodo dragons, two female
and one male, will roam through the indoor space throughout the day, one at a time. The
trio are still just teenagers and are just over five feet long. The adult males can grow to nine feet
from nose to tail and weigh around 163 kilos. These dragons are native to the eastern Indonesian
islands. Their diet consists of small and large mammals including deer and buffalo,
reptiles including smaller Komodo dragons, birds, eggs, and carrion. And they are Efficient
predators, they can consume up to 80 percent of their body weight in one feeding. The Komodo’s bite can inflict a serious wound
on their prey and their saliva contains a toxic mix of bacteria and venom fractions.
So if the dragon’s bite doesn’t kill its prey swiftly, the saliva mix will ensure death
within a few days. With a highly developed sense of smell, the
lizards can track their dying prey for distances of up to almost ten kilometres. Despite all this, they are classified as “Vulnerable”
by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Although they are classed as vulnerable, we’d
be staying well back from the glass.