Komodo dragons are the world’s largest lizard. They have large, streamlined bodies with a strong tail and powerful, bowed limbs. They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts and mottled black/brown scale colour which enables them to lie undetected by passing prey. Adult male Komodo dragon can reach maximum body length of 3.1m, and at most weight up to 100 kg; while adult female body length is up to 2,4 m, and weight up to 40 kg
Komodo dragons are endemic to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Nusa Kode and Gili Motang (the islands are within the Komodo National Park area). Beyond Komodo National Park, the species can also be found on the West and North coasts of Flores. Komodo dragon habitat includes the tropical forest, deciduous monsoon forest, Savanna, and mangrove forest. However, the Komodo dragon is more commonly found in lowlands surrounded by Savanna hills.
As a result of their size, Komodo dragons dominate the ecosystems in which they live. Komodo dragons hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals. Komodo dragons are very patient waiting for their prey. They lie and wait for long periods of time and when an animal walks past they pounce. They use their powerful legs, sharp teeth and claws to grab onto their prey. The Komodo dragons venom slowly attacks the animal and they die a slow death. The Komodo dragon will then use its forked tongue to track its prey and find the dead or dying animal to then feed upon.
Mating begins between May and August, and the eggs are laid in September. About 20 eggs are deposited in a self-dug nesting hole. The eggs are incubated for seven to eight months, hatching in April, when insects are most plentiful. Young Komodo dragons are vulnerable and therefore dwell in trees, safe from predators and cannibalistic adults. They take 8 to 9 years to mature, and are estimated to live up to 30 years