Jambo! Mr. Nature here; and today’s safari takes us to Komodo Island to meet the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest living lizard.
I can’t praise this lizard’s deer-hunting technique. Does he think he’s a Jersey fence lizard chasing down a cricket? What kind of chuckle-head thinks he’s ever going to run down a deer? Look at this video: the deer see the dragon coming from a hundred yards away. True, this particular lizard is quite fast: he’d’ve caught me. But he needs to work on his ambush technique, or he’ll never have a deer for supper unless he sends out invitations.
Fortunately for everybody’s peace of mind, Komodo dragons are rare and tend not to live in populated areas. Which is good, because this–the world’s largest living lizard–is one of the few land animals with the inclination and the ability to eat people.
The Komodo dragon, the world’s largest living lizard, often looks to us like he’d be slow and clumsy. That’s because they’re often filmed right after they eat; and when they eat, they gorge themselves and waddle around all bloated.
But here in a park–yes, it’s a park, not a wilderness: you can see the nice bike lanes–a Komodo dragon decides he’d like a haunch of venison. As he approaches, in plain sight, the deer decide it’s time to move out. And they decide just in time–he almost catches one! And then gives chase.
He can’t catch up to a deer running flat-out, but he’s still going pretty fast.
If you’re thinking of visiting Komodo Island, where these lizards are the apex predators, be very, very sure that you can outrun this critter. Each year they do manage to catch and eat a tourist or two.
(Sheesh, it’s a freakin’ park! Imagine that coming at you in Roosevelt Park. I’m gonna have nightmares…)
The Komodo dragon of Indonesia is, as Bob and Ray observed, the world’s largest living lizard. Full-grown at ten feet long and 300 pounds, occasionally it eats… people.
Some thousands of years ago, certain monitor lizards in Australia grew to be twice the size of a Komodo dragon. But they were pipsqueaks compared to the Mosasaurus of the Cretaceous Period (or whenever–we don’t want to take such things too seriously).
As you can see in this clip from Jurassic World, the Mosasaur was very, very big–up to thirty or even forty feet long, depending on the species. Mosasaurs are all the rage in dinosaur movies today, and of course their size is exaggerated therein. Closely related to today’s monitor lizards, the Mosasaur was likely the supreme predator of its time. Instead of legs it had flippers, so it had to stay in the water. And no, it was not as big as a New Jersey township.
What hath God wrought? We can only marvel at the scanty remains of these gigantic creatures that are no longer with us. Where they are now, only the God who made them knows. But maybe someday He will tell us.
The Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest living lizard, makes an ideal companion for anyone who likes to live in mortal fear of his household pet. They’re pretty hard to get, though–so we applaud Pitchpole Products for making one available as the grand prize in their annual Dolt for a Day Contest.
With every purchase of a Pitchpole Products plunger, pipe, or pliers, your name will be entered into the Dolt for a Day Komodo Dragon Sweepstakes.
Co-sponsored by the National Education Assn., so you know it’s on the level.
It has only been recently discovered that in addition to being huge, ferocious, an expert ambush predator, and armed with an arsenal of sharp teeth and claws, the Komodo Dragon’s bite is poisonous? All he needs is a gun.
Our God is an awesome God, and He makes some awesome creatures.
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