Surprising Facts About Komodo Dragons

 

Although we don’t recommend owning a Komodo Dragon as a pet, there are plenty of exciting things about these creatures. They are the heaviest lizards on this planet and have a behavior similar to people. Apart from that, Komodo Dragons are also surprisingly smart and even playful. Have we sparked your interest? Here are some other fascinating facts you should know about them.

 

Late discovery

Even though there were many animal species that became extinct in the 20th century, the good news is that scientists also found new ones. The Komodo Dragons were discovered in 1912, but their existence dates back thousands of years ago.

Natives from the Komodo Island in Indonesia, the lizards’ natural habitat, also named them “ora” which translates to “land crocodile.” And judging by their dimensions, the locals weren’t far from the truth.

 

 

They are venomous creatures

Although these creatures were considered dangerous ever since their discovery, it wasn’t until 2009 that a researcher at the University of Melbourne, Australia, came up with a conclusion. The dragon’s venom is capable of decreasing blood pressure and determining blood loss which will send its victims into shock.

Some of the chemical compounds contained by the dragon venom are similar to those found in the world’s most dangerous snake, the Taipan.

 

Impressive size

Did you know that an adult Komodo dragon can measure up to 10 feet in length and weigh around 300 pounds? In other words, these creatures are almost as big as a regular car and as heavy as a panda bear. But, despite their large dimensions, the dragons are very fast and successfully hunt their prey, no matter its size.

 

They eat their body weight in one meal

It comes as no surprise that such big creatures come with big stomachs. Most dragons feed on goats, pigs, deer, and other smaller Komodo dragons but they can eat their entire body weight in one meal! However, similar to alligators and crocodiles, it takes them a while until they digest all the food, meaning they are able to survive a few weeks until their next meal.

 

Compensating senses

Although the Komodo dragons can’t seem to see very well, they compensate through a sharp sense of smell. Similar to other reptiles, they make use of their forked tongues to smell prey and potential victims.

Although further studies are yet to be conducted, it is believed that the dragons can smell a corpse from 6 miles away. This can prove rather inconvenient, especially in areas where humans and these creatures live together because the dragons are notorious for grave robbing.

Because of this, people living in the area decided to switch to clay grounds or sandy ground to bury their deceased and cover their bodies with big piles of stones.

5 interesting things about tarantulas

 

There’s probably no other creature with multiple legs that inspires more fear than the tarantula. But are these giant spiders the evil incarnate that blockbuster movies try to portray them as? Some people keep tarantulas as pets, and no, there aren’t some evil characters trapped in an 80s movie. So there must be something about tarantulas that does not quite fit their general portrayal. Here are some interesting facts about these spiders that will change your perspective, too.

 

  1. Tarantulas are not keen on biting people

The dreadful tarantula bite is not as poisonous as you may think. By comparing it to a bee sting, it’s no more toxic than that. Of course, it would not be a pleasant experience, but by far, it is not as deadly as many people think. Plus, tarantulas are not particularly interested in biting people. Usually, they are quite docile, and that is why they are sometimes kept as pets.

  1. Falls can be fatal to tarantulas

Although they look impressive due to their frightful appearance, tarantulas are much more delicate than they look. Their exoskeleton is not particularly robust, and a simple fall can mean a tarantula’s demise. There is a reason why tarantulas don’t like the idea of being handled. If you drop it, it would just lead to its end, so it is natural for this spider to become scared and aggressive.

 

  1. Tarantulas can regrow legs

Another pretty cool fact about tarantulas is that they are capable of regrowing any limb they might lose during their lifetime. As they regenerate their exoskeleton, a process known as molting, they also regrow lost legs. The regrown leg might not be as long as the others, but, as the molting process continues, the new leg might end up getting there in due time.

Tarantulas are very careful about getting their protein, so they usually eat a severed leg to make sure that enough of that resource is assured for regrowth.

  1. Females live longer than males

In the wild, female tarantulas can live to the venerable age of 30, while males do not usually pass their sexual maturity, so they only live for 3 to 10 years. Another thing that sets females apart from males is that the latter don’t molt, after they reach their maturity, while females continue to do so for many long years.

 

  1. Tarantulas liquefy their food

Tarantulas do not have the means to chew the food they catch, so their method of eating and digesting food is rather peculiar. Once they catch their prey, they inject it with certain substances that liquefy it. The prey turned into something like a juice is then ingested through the straw-like mouth of the tarantula.

 

5 most lethal reptiles in the world

 

Contrary to popular belief, the deadliest animal in the world is not a reptile or a shark, but a type of jellyfish. When feeling in danger, this type of jellyfish injects venom with its tentacles, and it is capable of killing a human being in under five minutes.

Nevertheless, there are countless types of creatures that could get you killed in an instant if you don’t pay enough attention.

If you’re planning your next trip in the Amazonian forest or looking forward to a mountain getaway, keep in mind that there are countless ways of getting into trouble when surrounded by nature. Here is a list of the top 5 most lethal reptiles in the world to know exactly what to fear when exploring the great wilderness.


 

The Anaconda

This semi-aquatic snake lives in South America and can reach a length of 10-12 meters. These snakes are known for being able to ingest food with a diameter of up to three times their bodies. They are reputed hunters and most often prey on deer, capybaras, wild pigs, as well as other species.

 

The Saltwater crocodile

This type of crocodile is considered the largest reptile in the world and a very ferocious terrestrial predator. It can reach up to 2000 kg and it is extremely widespread in Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and the North of Australia. Its strong jaws can easily tear apart all types of animals, including humans.

 

The Komodo dragon

It is considered the largest species of lizard in the world and resides in Indonesia and its immediate vicinity. This type of lizard can reach up to 3 meters in length and weighs around 130 kg. It is fast enough to chase humans and numerous attacks on humans were reported in the Komodo Island until 2014.

They usually prey on pigs, deer, and other medium-sized mammals and reptiles. However, they don’t necessarily hunt live prey, as they might also feed on dead or dying animals.

 

The King Cobra

It is considered as one of the most venomous reptile species and one of the few snake species that prey on other snakes. Its food mainly consists of other snakes and lizards and it can measure up to 3-4 meters in length.

The King Cobra is often found in the forest areas of Southeast Asia and its bite is usually lethal to humans. However, the attacks on humans are extremely rare as these snakes are not extremely aggressive and usually live in solitary forest areas.

The Black Mamba

Unfortunately for you, the deadliest reptile on the planet is also a snake. It is also considered to be the fastest of all snake species, and its bite can inject a large quantity of venom.

The Black Mamba usually lives in the interior regions of Africa. Because of its secured location with no civilization near its environment, it is quite hard to seek and find professional help if you are bitten by a Black Mamba.

 

Tortoises and aquatic turtles – two very different animals

turtles. I know I did, for sure. Well, although people confuse them a lot, in reality, they are different both in looks and in other typical characteristics.

Even though they both belong to the order of Testudines, they come from different classification families. One major difference is the fact that tortoises spend their time on land, while turtles enjoy the water and live nearby all of the time. However, they both lay their eggs on the ground.

The process is quite similar to both types and consists of the mother digging a burrow and laying up to twelve eggs inside. From there on, the future hatchlings stay in the egg for 90 to 120 120. When the incubation process has reached its end, the babies dig their way up to the surface. Here comes the difference: tortoise mothers protect their hatchlings for a period of 80 days but the turtles leave the babies to survive on their own from birth.

Another aspect is related to the physical features. If you thought they look like two beans in a pod, you thought wrong. The tortoise has the shell in a shape of a dome and the feet are short and sturdy. Moreover, its legs are a tad bent and not straight under the body. On the other hand, turtles have flat shells and their feet have long claws that ensure a strong grip and helps them climb the riverbanks easier and faster.  

This major difference has to do with the fact that turtles generally live in water and they need a streamlined shell to swim and dive. Tortoises are prone to be attacked by predators so the dome-shaped shell keeps them safe. Compared to a turtle’s shell, tortoises have a heavier shell so they couldn’t possibly get near the water for a swimming session.

I should explain the way these creatures feed themselves. The majority of tortoises are herbivores meaning that they like to eat a variety of vegetables, grasses, fruits, and all sorts of flowers. It’s a known fact that some species of tortoise get to eat up to 200 different types of plants during one year time.

Now here comes the big news. Turtles are actually omnivores because they eat both veggies and animals such as jellyfish, small fish or earthworms.  

In terms of lifespan, sea turtles can live up to 70 years, 50 of those being required for them to reach maturity. Common turtles don’t go beyond 40 years old.

Tortoises are the lucky ones because they can reach easily 80 years old. There have been cases of them that lived for more than 150 years. According to experts, it’s even possible for tortoises to get past the 100 years of age limit in captivity if you carefully control and nurture their environment.

How to take care of baby water turtles

 

You might want to get a new pet and your mind is set on baby water turtles. Or you might already own them and since you’re new to this thing, you need advice. Whatever the case is, you need to learn that baby turtles should be kept only in shallow water, no deeper than the level they can reach the surface without difficulties. If you want to get a good aquarium for your baby water turtle, go ahead and read this article on turtle tank filters.

Another aspect you need to be aware is that baby water turtles need heated water that is changed on daily basis. If you opt for a water filter, you can go for up to 3 days without having to empty the aquarium. Just make sure the filter doesn’t create a strong current which makes turtles paddle to much and get exhausted.

If they have a warm climate, baby turtles are more likely to survive and grow bigger. The temperature inside the tank should be approximately 85 Fahrenheit degrees. Moreover, get an incandescent lamp and use it to heat the basking spot, especially if you have a rock designed for the basking process. You can always buy an aquarium thermometer that enables you to adjust the water temperature.

Depending on your room temperature, you might need to cover the tank partially in order to prevent the water getting cold. Avoid condensation because turtles can’t dry out because they require humidity to grow.

Besides the environment conditions, baby turtles need a certain food diet that contains plenty of Vitamin D3 and Calcium. They are mostly carnivorous but need vegetables as well. You can give them butter lettuce, carrot slivers, or frozen veggie cubes for fish. Keep in mind to chop the pieces small.

Also, you can feed them with dried or frozen bloodworms that you can purchase from specialized stores. The reason why their diet includes them is that they are high in protein. However, try not to give them daily.

The frozen veggie cubes feature a variety of vegetables that are healthy for baby turtles. One good food choice for water turtles is the redworms, chopped into small tiny bits. You can also add chopped earthworms or tadpoles.  

There’s no need to worry about making time to feed the baby turtles since they only require feeding once or twice a day. Plus, it’s enough if you give them small meals and keep some veggies floating in the tank if turtles want to nibble on. It’s important not to overfeed them because if they grow too fast there’s a risk their shells deform.

Aside from this, try to give them plenty of fresh food because it prevents the protein and fat overdose, which again can cause deformities to the turtle shell.