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.