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Are Komodo Dragons Venomous or Dangerous?

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The Komodo dragon is undoubtedly one of the largest and most dangerous lizards in the world. With their large, muscular bodies and venomous bite, Komodo dragons can hunt prey many times their size, such as deer, pigs, buffaloes, and even humans. Komodo dragons are extremely dangerous and venomous and it is best to stay away from them. They are not the best choice to keep as pets, as they are fierce hunters and difficult to tame. It can be very dangerous to keep them around children or even adults, especially animals. Their name suits them well because Komodo dragons are true carnivores and will attack all kinds of animals in the wild, even humans. While Komodo dragons are not known to feed on humans, attacks have been reported.

Komodo dragon bite

The stupidest animal in the world, the Komodo dragon
Komodo dragons possess venom that makes their bite deadly.

© Yudi S/Shutterstock.com

The Komodo dragon looks terrifying because it has 60 sharp, serrated teeth. However, Komodo dragons have a relatively weak bite compared to other animals. Like other lizard species, Komodo dragons can only produce a bite force of 500 to 600 PSI, or 39 Newtons, which compares poorly to the 252 Newtons of the same-sized Australian saltwater crocodile. Technically, a Komodo dragon's bite shouldn't be large enough to cause significant harm or impact to animals or humans. So what makes a Komodo dragon's bite lethal? Komodo dragons possess a powerful venom that they release through their sharp teeth. This venom can kill humans within hours.

Komodo dragons are very aggressive hunters, and incidents of them attacking humans also occur from time to time. Their bites are unbearable. In addition to its ripping teeth, Komodo dragons have a unique technique for biting and tearing away the flesh of their victims. Komodo dragons use a custom bite and pull strategy when biting prey or attacking humans. They do this using their powerful neck muscles, which help them bite hard. Komodo dragons often bite animals or sometimes humans, pulling back flesh in a frantic attack while seeping venom from its mouth into the victim's wounds. Komodo dragons leave humans with huge, gaping wounds filled with lizard venom. The venom speeds up the bleeding process and puts the victim into lethargy or shock.

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Are Komodo dragons dangerous to humans?

Are Komodosauruses Poisonous or Dangerous?
Komodo dragon bites are very dangerous to humans.

© Andrey Gudkov/Shutterstock.com

You might think that lizards are all harmless and non-venomous, but Komodo dragons are not. Komodo dragons are the largest lizards on Earth and are extremely dangerous . Komodo dragons have been known to hunt even large mammals, but more importantly, they can also hunt humans. The ferocious bite of these giant lizards injects venom into their victims, which accelerates blood loss, lowers blood pressure, causes profuse bleeding and prevents wounds from clotting, sending them into a state of shock. These events weaken and incapacitate victims, including humans, preventing them from fighting back.

Komodo dragons have a natural predator mouth with shark-like teeth and strong venom. Studies have shown that the venom of a Komodo dragon can kill an adult within hours. In addition to this, the Komodo dragon bite itself leaves a deep wound that causes excruciating pain.

Due to documented deaths, the Komodo dragon has long been a fearsome reptile in Indonesia, causing fear among its natives. However, experts claim Komodo dragon attacks are still rare. For decades, scientists have believed in the myth that Komodo dragons are not poisonous, but kill with bacteria-laden saliva. However, in 2009, Bryan Fry and his colleagues demonstrated that Komodo dragons possess venomous glands and therefore use the venom to kill their victims. Komodo dragons have venom glands located between their teeth that are designed to "exacerbate blood loss from the bite and mechanical damage causing electric shock".

Komodo dragon human attack

Although rare, incidents of Komodo dragon attacks on humans have been reported. Unlike most lizard species, Komodo dragons are aggressive and may stalk even for no reason. Some Komodo dragon attacks left villagers with deep bite wounds, and others died. From 1974 to 2012, Komodo National Park collected 24 reported attacks in captivity and in the wild. Tragically, five of those attacks were fatal.

Deadly attacks include the death of an 8-year-old boy on Komodo Island in 2007 after being attacked by a giant lizard. The boy died from his injuries and bleeding profusely. On the other hand, in 2009, a 31-year-old man fell from a tree while picking sugar apples on Komodo Island. He fell on top of two Komodo dragons, which left him devastated. The victim was reportedly bitten on his hands, legs, neck and body. The man died shortly after the attack. Several other reports of Komodo dragon attacks have also resulted in serious injuries.

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Are Komodo dragons poisonous?

Komodo Dragon Teeth
Komodo dragons are highly venomous to both animals and humans due to the presence of toxins in their venom glands.

© vladivlad/Shutterstock.com

Contrary to popular belief, Komodo dragons are incredibly venomous . Their venom is highly poisonous enough to kill animals and even humans within hours. Scientists believe that Komodo dragons have been killing their victims through bacterial infections for decades. The saliva of these lizards is said to be extremely dirty and with the help of their teeth, can poison the blood within hours. However, the venom glands of Komodo dragons were found to seep toxins, not bacteria, that can speed up bleeding from wounds and prevent them from clotting. This is why most Komodo victims die from blood loss.

Komodo dragons release their venom in a unique way. They tear apart the flesh and forcefully pull it back with their strong neck muscles, weakening the victim and sending them into a state of shock. These giant lizards may only live in certain regions, but they have the potential to be some of the most dangerous animals on Earth. With 60 shark-like teeth and snake-like venom, the Komodo dragon is an apex predator in the wild and poses a dangerous threat to humans.

What Do Komodo Dragons Eat?

Komodo dragons are carnivorous and will eat anything that passes in their path, including humans. They prefer to hunt live prey, but due to their large appetites, if they find any dead animals, they will eat them too. Large adult Komodo dragons typically eat large mammals introduced into their habitat by humans, including pigs, goats, deer, dogs, horses, and buffalo. Animals native to the habitat such as small rodents, deer, wild boar and monkeys are also on the menu. Smaller or younger Komodo dragons target prey close to their own size and eat insects, smaller lizards, rodents, birds and snakes.

One komodo dragon will eat another komodo dragon, and the larger komodo dragon will hunt the smaller ones like other prey. The threat from other Komodos begins immediately after they are born. After the cubs hatch, they start looking for their own prey. Since larger Komodos prefer mammals on the ground, smaller Komodos are more inclined to use their climbing abilities and climb trees to find food and avoid any attacks from their larger counterparts. Young Komodo dragons also wallow in the droppings of larger dragons to mask their scent and try to avoid detection.

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The species is very well equipped with a stomach that can expand when needed, so they have the potential to consume up to 80% of their body weight. If a large Komodo dragon weighs 330 pounds, it can consume 264 pounds of meat in one meal! Learn more about the Komodos diet here.

Komodo dragon vs crocodile

Historically, saltwater crocodiles were competitive predators with Komodo dragons when they shared the same hunting grounds of coastal areas and mangrove swamps within Komodo National Park. Crocodiles are no longer present in the area, and there are usually no conflicts with this reptile in the wild, but if there was a conflict, what would happen to a fight between a Komodo dragon and a crocodile?

The two are roughly equal when considering their physical defenses. However, since crocodiles can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh up to 2,000 pounds, they have a size advantage over Komodo dragons, which can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds. Crocs are also faster, reaching speeds of 22 mph on land and 15 mph in water, while the Komodos have a top speed of 11 mph.

When it comes to senses, Komodo dragons have the edge as their very keen sense of smell allows them to spot prey from miles away.

While both have deadly dangerous teeth, the crocodile wins out in terms of bite coefficient as compared to the Komodos' weaker bite, the crocodile has one of the strongest bite forces on Earth at 3,700PSI power approx. 100-300PSI.

In general, crocodiles are bigger, stronger and faster than Komodo dragons. The crocodile will win the battle against the Komodo dragon. You can read more about what to expect in the fight between the two here.


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Top Predators: Komodo Dragons
The Komodo dragon is a large lizard found only on a handful of islands in the Indonesian archipelago. To hunt large animals, Komodo dragons can hide for hours in vegetation and are well camouflaged with their taupe skin while waiting for prey to pass by. The Komodo dragon then ambush its victim with incredible speed and strength.

© iStock.com/photomaru

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Victor Victor

For six years, I have been a professional writer and editor of books, blogs and websites, with a particular focus on animals, technology and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with my friends.

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