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A Komodo dragon eating stuff.

1. Megapode nests

Komodo dragons start their life as an egg laid in an abandoned megapode nest.

(Sure, a megapode is basically an enlarged chicken, but don’t let that get in the way of how cool of a name it is).

2. Egg tooth

Baby komodo dragons have an egg tooth to break out of their egg. Awww, isn’t that so cute! The egg tooth falls out shortly after they hatch.

Then they get 60 serrated teeth that are frequently replaced to maximize their bite.

3. Cannibalism

10% of an adult komodo dragon’s diet is baby komodo dragons. So baby komodo dragons had better learn to fend for themselves.

Young komodo dragons use their claws to climb up trees (a feat adults are too heavy to perform). But sometimes, they need to come down to eat. Once they’re done eating, to avoid getting snatched by an adult, they roll around in poop and hide in the intestines of the animal they just ate.

4. Heightened senses

Komodo dragons can detect rotting meat from 10 kilometers away, because that’s how good their sense of smell is.

BTW the sense of smell of komodo dragons doesn’t rely on nostrils or taste buds that much (it only has a few of those). Instead, they use their vomeronasal organ (VNO), which is located in the nasal cavity and is full of sensory neurons. Cats also have a VNO, and my cat is better than your baby.

5. Integrated chainmail

There are little bones in a komodo dragon’s skin that make it more resistant.

6. Personal hygiene

Is getting your children to wash their face and brush and teeth an everyday battle? Komodo dragons do it after every meal.

(Well, they use leaves and stuff instead of a toothbrush and washcloth, but it still counts.)

7. Third eye

Komodo dragons have two regular eyes. And they have an extra light-sensing organ on the top of their head called a parietal eye. How many eyes does your baby have?

Luckily for you, they don’t have very good night vision (because their retinas only contain cones and no rods), they’re not very good at distinguishing stationary objects, and their hearing is sub-par (because they only have one ear-bone so they can’t hear as many different frequencies as us).

Just stay still, and this flesh-eating, sharp-toothed, third-eyed, armored-skin monster might not notice you.

8. Eating habits

While your baby is throwing pureed carrots on the wall, baby komodo dragons will eat anything. Whether you’re alive or already dead and rotting, the komodo dragon doesn’t care, it’ll eat you anyway.

9. Death machine

A komodo dragon will kill a wild pig in a matter of seconds. And if you escape its death grip, the infection from its bites might kill you anyway. There is even speculation as to the presence of venom in its bite.

10. Efficient eater

It takes a lot of time (by this, I mean 15-20 minutes. When was the last time feeding your toddler took less than 20 minutes?) to swallow an entire goat. So to help shove the goat down its throat a bit faster, a komodo dragon can ram itself into a tree.

Sometimes, a komodo dragon will hit the tree so hard, trying to force food down its throat, that it will topple the tree.

Komodo dragons eat 80% of their body weight in one meal, spit out the horns, hair and stuff, then lay in the sun and don’t eat again for the rest of the month. Try feeding your baby just 12 times a year!

11. Single mom FTW

Komodo dragons reproduce sexually, except that they can also do parthenogenesis. When females lay eggs through parthenogenesis, they only produce male offspring.

(Komodo dragons have a ZW chromosome system, so contrary to humans, males have two of the same sex chromosomes, and females have two different sex chromosomes)


When westerners first discovered komodo dragons, they were like “Is this a land crocodile?". To which I answer “Dude, have you ever seen a crocodile?". But now the western way of life is drastically reducing the habitat of komodo dragons. Rising sea levels and aridification are destroying the beaches of Indonesia that komodo dragons used to call home.

Komodo dragons are very likely to become extinct. They might completely disappear from the wild because of climate change, and they don’t do so well in captivity. So lobby your local politicians to implement and enforce regulations to curb CO2 emissions and fight the damage being done to the environment.

This article was made with information from Wikipedia.

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PhD, astrophysicist. I play with keyboards and telescopes whenever I can.