Komodo Dragons, Island Rinca, Indonesia

THE WORLD’S ONLY DRAGON


Mikaela Price – Marketing Assistant 

 

Imagine a world where you can observe animals dating back to over four million years ago and stare them directly in the eye. Furthermore, imagine if you found out that dragons weren’t just a product of embellishment for fairy tales and fantasy novels, but if they did in fact roam the earth? In the Komodo National Park of Indonesia, the mystical Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis), direct descendants of dinosaurs, inhabit the various islands that make up the park and leave those lucky enough to encounter these fascinating creatures in absolute awe.

There are many facts about these dragons that make them even more impressive than those conjured up in fairy tales.

 

Komodo Dragons

 

Weighing more than 158kg and measuring up to 3.6 metres, these gargantuan sized lizards are some of the most efficient carnivores on the planet. They are able to hunt using their tongue – which can taste the air and determine if a particle has been left behind by something that they consider tasty up to an impressive 9km away. Their bite is laced with anticoagulants (which prevent blood clots) and a victim on the receiving end of one of them will bleed non-stop. The dragons also have quite an appetite as they can eat up to 80% of their body weight in one sitting.

 

Komodo Dragon Rinca Island

 

There’s no need to worry though as they are typically non-aggressive towards humans, granted you are with an experienced park ranger which is what happens when you come face to face with them on a luxury or expedition cruise. They will however occasionally eat their offspring – which is considered normal. An adaptation method for this is that baby Komodo’s will instinctively climb up trees to avoid becoming any surrounding dragon’s next snack where they will feed on insects, snakes, eggs and anything they can find up there, where they may stay for up to 4 years.

 

Komodo Dragon, Rinca Island, Indonesia

 

Since Western scientists first witnessed a Komodo dragon in 1912, their size and history has baffled those who work on them. Recently a team made the ground breaking discovery that identified Australia as the likely birth place of the Komodo dragon. Fossils found in Eastern Australia dating back to over four-million years are identical to those of present-day Komodo Dragons. This draws the prospective conclusion that the dragons in fact migrated west from Australia to Indonesia.

 

Komodo Dragons, Island Rinca, Indonesia

The Komodo National Park, where they inhabit, consists of three main islands; Rincah, Komodo and Padar along with 26 smaller ones, occupying close to 2,000 square kilometres. The impressive fauna doesn’t just stop at dragons as the park is home to over 1,000 species of tropical fish, 260 species of coral and rare marine mammals such as the dugong. The park was also recognised as a UNESCO Word Heritage Site in 1991.

 

 

Needless to say this is just some of the many intriguing facts about the world’s only (living) dragon – the Komodo. If you are lucky enough to witness one, you too will be amazed at their similarity to their forefathers, the dinosaurs.

Komodo Dragons can be seen on the following cruises:
Fire & Dragons
Komodo National Park to Bali
In the Wake of the Makassans

 

To book your holiday to the Komodo Islands, contact us on 1300 987 929 or email: contact@satc.com.au.


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