Island of Komodo Dragons ~ History


Komodo Island is an island located in the Nusa Tenggara islands. Komodo Island is known as a habitat for native animals dragons. The island is also the Komodo National Park which is managed by the Central Government. Komodo Island in the eastern island of Sumbawa, separated by Sape Strait.

Location :

Komodo National Park is located in the subdistrict of Komodo, West Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. Komodo Island is the most western tip of East Nusa Tenggara province, bordering the province of West Nusa Tenggara.

Komodo Island is identified by WWF and Conservation International as a global conservation priority. The park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores on the border of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and West Nusa Tenggara (NTP) includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous small islands of land of 603 km2. The total size of Komodo National Park is 1817 km2. Proposed extension of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2321 km2.

About Komodo :

Komodo, or the more called Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) is the world's largest lizard species that live on the island of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Gili Dasami in Nusa Tenggara. This lizard by the natives of Komodo island is also called by local names ora.

Including family members Varanidae lizards, and klad Toxicofera, dragons are the largest lizards in the world, with an average length of 2-3 m. Large size is associated with symptoms of island gigantism, the tendency for body meraksasanya certain animals that live on a small island linked to the absence of carnivorous mammals in the island where dragons live, and the rate of metabolism of small dragons. Because of her size, these lizards occupy the position of a top predator that dominate the ecosystems in which they live.

Komodo dragons are found by western researchers in 1910. He was a great and terrible reputation that makes them popular in zoos. Dragons in the wild habitat has been shrinking due to human activity and therefore incorporate dragons IUCN as a species vulnerable to extinction. This large lizard is now protected under Indonesian law and a national park, the Komodo National Park, established to protect them.

Anatomy and Morphology :

In the wild, adult Komodo dragon usually has a mass of about 70 kilograms, but the dragons kept in captivity often have a greater body weight. Wild specimens have the largest ever of 3:13 meters long and weighing about 166 kilograms, including the weight of undigested food in his stomach. Although listed as the largest lizard the Komodo dragon is still alive, but not the longest. This reputation is held by Papuan lizard (Varanus salvadorii). Komodo has the same tail length with his body, and around 60 sharp teeth are serrated along approximately 2.5 cm, which is often replaced. Komodo dragon saliva is often mixed with a little blood because her teeth almost completely covered by gingival tissue and the tissue was torn during the meal. This condition creates an ideal environment for the growth of deadly bacteria that live in their mouths. Komodo has a long tongue, yellow and forked. Komodo dragons males larger than females, with a skin color from dark gray to red brick, while the female is more colorful dragons green olives, and has a small piece of yellow on the throat. Young Komodo dragons more colorful, yellow, green and white on a black background.

Physiology :

Komodo does not have the sense of hearing, despite having the ear hole. This lizard is able to see as far as 300 m, but because the retina has only cone cells, these animals do not seem so good to see in the darkness of night. Komodo is able to distinguish colors, but not much able to distinguish objects that do not move. Komodo uses his tongue to detect taste and smell stimuli, like other reptiles, the vomeronasal sensory organs utilizing Jacobson, an ability that can help navigate in the dark. With the help of the wind and the habit of tilting his head to the right and to the left when walking, dragons can detect the presence of carrion as far as 4-9.5 kilometers. Dragons nostrils olfaction is not a good tool because they do not have the midriff. These animals have no sense of taste on the tongue, there are few nerve endings of taste in the back of the throat.

Komodo dragon scales, some of which are reinforced with bone, has a sensor that is connected to nerves that facilitate excitatory touch. Scales around the ears, lips, chin, and soles of the feet have three or more sensor stimulation.

Komodo dragons were once considered deaf when studies find that whispers, voices rising and shouting did not result in agitation (interference) in the wild dragons. This was refuted later when employees ZSL London Zoo, Joan Proctor trained lizards to eat out with his voice, even when he is not seen by the lizards.

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  Charles Walter Buntjer

San Francisco California
Created on: 2016.03.11  

Published on: 2017.01.28