11 Komodo Dragon Facts For Kids
The Komodo Dragon has often been called the world’s last remaining dinosaur. These unique creatures are the biggest and the heaviest lizards that are on the planet today. When they get to be adults, they can become as big as 10 feet long and end up weighing over 300 pounds! Even the average komodo dragon is going to weigh 150 pounds, or about as much as the average human. Komodo dragons that are in the wild can only be found on the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia.
Scientists believe that these animals have been around for millions of years. Over the last 100 years of studying them, they have discovered some fun facts about these powerful reptiles. Are you ready to learn more about komodo dragons today?
1. What’s For Dinner?
Komodo dragons will eat almost anything that they find. This includes everything from a water buffalo to something that they discovered has already died. They are big enough and strong enough to be able to eat humans too. This doesn’t happen very often, but if you find yourself around a hungry komodo dragon, you might want to find somewhere else to be.
2. They Are Super Sneaky
Komodo dragons rely more on stealth and cunning as their allies during hunting more than speed. That’s not to say that a komodo dragon isn’t a fast animal. It can move pretty quickly, even with its bowed legs and huge tail. Don’t let the clumsy look of their walk fool you. If a komodo dragon is in a hurry, it can catch up! Why run when you can wait in the grass for your food to walk by though? That’s what a komodo dragon tends to do.
3. They Lay Lots of Eggs
A komodo dragon will usually lay up to 30 eggs per year. These eggs take a long time to hatch, so the mama komodo dragon will stand watch over her eggs for several months. When baby komodo dragons are born, they actually have a different color than their parents. The little ones are yellow, black, and green, while the adult komodo dragons tend to be more brown and red.
4. The Babies Know How to Climb
Because komodo dragon babies are so small, they’ll climb up into the trees and live there until they are 8 months old. By living in the trees, the baby komodo dragon is able to avoid more hungry predators. That includes hungry adult komodo dragons!
5. Don’t Get Bitten
If the powerful jaws of a komodo dragon bite weren’t enough to make you think twice about getting too close, then consider the fact that the bite is also poisonous. The spit of the komodo dragon actually has a poison in it that goes into the open wounds caused by the teeth. For most animals, the bite of a komodo dragon will kill it within a day or so. The komodo dragon will then follow the animal it has bitten until it has died so it can get a good meal.
6. Can I Have Seconds Please?
Komodo dragons have been known to eat almost 80% of their body weight in a single meal. For a komodo dragon that weighs 100 pounds, it means that their dinner could be 80 pounds worth of unsuspecting animal! If you weight 100 pounds and ate that much food, it would take almost 160 double cheeseburgers to do it!
7. They Live How Long?
Komodo dragons have been known to live as long as 50 years. During the time, you can find them do a number of different activities. For their size, komodo dragons are remarkably good swimmers. You can often find them swimming between the islands that they call home to find food, but they rarely stray further into the open seas.
8. It’s Only Pretend
One of the biggest dangers of going out to see the komodo dragons is that they can only look to be sleeping. If there are kids around, adults have to keep them very close because a “sleeping” komodo dragon can reach a top running speed of 12 miles per hour in just seconds. When they’re hungry, they don’t hesitate – and sometimes they can put in a burst of speed that lets them run even faster!
9. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Komodo dragons have a 4:1 girl/boy ratio. This means that for every boy komodo dragon that is born, there will be four girl komodo dragons. It takes a komodo dragon about 8 years to become fully mature and they are usually pretty solitary animals. You can find them in groups when they are hungry or when it’s mating season, but otherwise they tend to keep to themselves.
10. They Were Found Just 100 Years Ago
Nobody knew anything about komodo dragons until a pilot lost his plane in what would become the Komodo Sea. The pilot survived the crash and discovered the large lizards on the island. Two years later, a full scientific expedition went to the island and they were able to capture several dragons so that they could study them.
11. Komodo Dragons are Endangered
Because they have a limited habitat and compete for food, they are considered an endangered animal. It is estimated that there are just 5,700 komodo dragons in the wild today. They live in a protected park, but that doesn’t change the fact that humans hunt the same animals for food that komodo dragons hunt. Their numbers are starting to increase, but slowly. That’s why conservation efforts are so important!
Komodo dragons might be big, poisonous lizards, but they aren’t scary – unless one happens to be chasing you! They are just another unique form of life on our planet and deserve to exist just as much as any other creature. That’s why knowing these facts is so important. When everyone is able to understand how important these cool critters are, then we can do a better job of protecting them.