Komodo, The Legend of the Dragon Who Lives in Indonesia

Have you ever known Komo? For you generation of the 90s, you must know him right? Unfortunately, children born after 2000, it seems that very rarely knows the name of the Komo?

The Komo is one of the characters that had been turned on by Kak Seto Mulyadi. The storyteller, who was also the observer of the problems of the child, created the character of Komo, who became popular through the TV series.

Then why are we discussing Komo? This is because this time we will discuss about Komodo animals which are the embodiments of this Komo. Komodo dragons are interesting animals. Not only because it is embodied in the cartoon character of the Komo, but also because Komodo dragons are endemic animals in Indonesia that are considered rare.

Komodo is also one species of ancient animals that are still alive today. To be clearer, let’s get to know this Komodo animal further.

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Name

Indonesian : Komodo
English : the Komodo Dragon
Latin language : Varanus komodoensis

Classification

Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Squamata
Upaordo : Autarchoglossa
Family : Varanidae
Genus : Varanus
Species : V. komodoensis

Long live

Komodo in survival for more than 50 years

Komodo Food

Komodo dragons are carnivorous animals that are meat-eating animals. Most dragons prey on other animals such as:

  • Various types of invertebrates,
  • other reptiles (including smaller dragons)
  • birds and bird eggs
  • small mammals
  • monkey
  • wild boar
  • goat
  • deer
  • horse

Sometimes, dragons also prey on humans and corpses were dug out of the shallow grave pit. For young dragons, they often also prey on insects, eggs, lizards, and small mammals.

Characteristics of the Komodo Dragon

  • Male dragons body weight → up to 90 kg
  • Female dragons body weight → less than 50 kg
  • The body length of male dragons → up to 2 m
  • Female dragons body length → less than 2 m
  • Having a slimy mouth
  • Do not have the sense of hearing

How to Reproduce Komodo:

Komodo has a mating season between May and August. Then, the Komodo dragon will lay eggs around September. During the mating season, male dragons will fight each other by wrestling to defend the female and its territory,

Male Komodo dragons wrestle with each other by standing on their hind legs. The losing Komodo dragon will fall down and be locked on the ground. Interestingly, when they prepare to fight, these Komodo dragons sometimes vomit or defecate.

The male Komodo who wins the battle will snap his long tongue at the female Komodo’s body to make the female accept it. Female Komodo dragons have antagonistic properties that love to fight using their teeth and claws during the early pairing phase. Next, male dragons must be able to control the female completely so that during the fertilization process no one is injured.

When the fertilization process takes place, male dragons often exhibit typical behavior by rubbing their chin on the female’s body, scratching violently on her back, and licking.

The copulation process occurs when a male Komodo dragon enters one of its hemipenis into a female Komodo cloaca. Komodo dragons have a rare characteristic possessed by other groups of lizards, namely in the form of monogamous nature and form a “partner”

If the fertilization process is successful, female dragons will lay eggs. These eggs are laid in holes in the ground, hillside or in abandoned orange-footed mounds of burnt bird nests.

Komodo dragons prefer to store their eggs in nests that have been left behind. Usually, one Komodo dragon’s nest can contain up to 20 eggs. These eggs will hatch after 7 to 8 months.

Female Komodo dragons will lay eggs by laying on them. He will protect the eggs until they hatch around April. Usually, these eggs will hatch along with the end of the rainy season when there are many insects.

For new Komodo dragons to hatch, this hatching process is a very tiring effort. Komodo babies must try to come out of the eggshell by tearing it using egg teeth. If this hard work is completed, the Komodo dragon’s egg teeth will also fall out.

Successful baby dragons tear the eggshells to lie on their eggshells for several hours. Next, they will dig out of their nests. These newly hatched baby dragons are very weak and helpless so they are easily eaten by predators.

For this reason, many young Komodo dragons spend their first years in the tree. The top of the tree is a relatively safe place from predators, including from adult cannibals.

Adult Komodo dragons get 10 percent of their food from young monitor lizards or young Komodo dragons. To grow up, dragons need about 3 to 5 years.

Komodo dragon reproduction process can also be done in other ways. Some female dragons can reproduce and produce children without the presence of a male. This process is called parthenogenesis. This phenomenon can also be experienced by several other types of reptiles such as Cnemidophorus.

The uniqueness of the Komodo dragon

  • The ability of seeing dragons is very great because of their visibility to 300 meters. It’s just that the retina of the Komodo dragon in the form of cone cells makes the eyesight is not good when it is dark.
  • Komodo dragons can distinguish colors, but not enough to be able to distinguish moving and stationary objects.
  • Komodo can use its tongue to detect taste and smell stimuli. Komodo dragons use the vomeronasal senses by utilizing Jacobson’s organs. This ability can help navigation when it’s dark.
  • Komodo has a habit of tilting his head to the right and left when walking. This habit and with the help of the wind, dragons can easily detect the presence of carcass meat up to as far as 4 to 9.5 kilometers.
  • Komodo has a nostril, but is not a good olfactory device because there is no bulkhead cavity.
  • Komodo has no sense of taste on its tongue. It only has a few nerve endings that are located in the back of the throat.
  • Komodo dragons have scales, some of which are reinforced with bones.
  • Komodo has sensors that are connected to nerves that make it sensitive to touch stimuli.
  • Komodo scales around the ears, lips, chin and footprints have three or more sensory stimuli.
  • Komodo dragons have can and bacteria in their saliva which are deadly.

Also consider:  Tarantula – Hairy Unique Spiders that are much-loved

Komodo Conservation

Komodo dragons are endangered species. Komodo dragons have also been designated Vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List.

The number of dragons that still live in the wild, estimated at around 4000 to 5000 tail. Komodo dragon population is limited and only spread on the islands of Rinca (1,300 individuals), Gili Motang (100), Gili Dasami (100), Komodo (1,700), and Flores (possibly up to 2,000).

Conservation for Komodo dragons began to be established by the Indonesian government in 1980. At that time, female dragons were productive and could breed very few in number. Therefore, the Komodo National Park was formed which aims to protect the Komodo dragon population and its ecosystem. The Komodo National Park is created on several islands including Komodo, Rinca, and Padar.

In the last few years, the government has also placed Wae Wuul and Wolo Tado Nature Reserve on Flores Island to help preserve the Komodo dragon. Komodo dragons that live in a conservation environment are then getting used to the presence of humans.

These dragons are accustomed to being fed by humans with livestock carcasses as part of the attraction to attract tourists at several visiting sites in the Komodo National Park.

Although the Komodo dragon has become accustomed to the presence of humans, but dragons are still wild animals. Komodo dragons are rarely known to prey on humans. But, this incident never happened on June 4, 2007. At that time, a Komodo dragon attacked an eight-year-old boy.

This child died from severe bleeding from the wounds he suffered from a Komodo dragon bite. However, this tragedy is the first record of a Komodo dragon attack that has resulted in death for the past three to four decades.

Komodo habitat on Komodo Island

It has been mentioned that the Komodo dragon is an endemic animal in Indonesia which has also obtained conservation sites in several areas in the Nusa Tenggara islands. One area that is famous and identical with this Komodo dragon is Komodo Island.

This island in the Nusa Tenggara archipelago is one of the Komodo National Park areas which is also managed by the Indonesian Central Government. It is located on the east side of the island of Sumbawa, separated by the Sape Strait.

Komodo Island is administratively included in the Komodo District area, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. This island is also the westernmost tip of the Province of East Nusa Tenggara which is directly adjacent to the Province of West Nusa Tenggara. On this Komodo Island, Komodo dragons live and breed well.

Other facts about Komodo

Still remember that the Komodo dragon is an animal that is vulnerable to extinction is not it? Therefore, it is not surprising that CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) has determined that the Komodo dragon trade, including Komodo skin and other products from these animals, is illegal.

Another fact about dragons that is unique and needs to be known is the assumption that these animals are deaf. Many people mention and believe that the Komodo dragon does not have a sense of hearing.

This assumption is due to a series of studies conducted by researchers on the Komodo dragon. The researchers conducted a whisper test, sound to screams on the dragons. They found that these sounds from soft to loud did not cause agitation or disturbance in the wild Komodo dragon.

However, this assumption is disputed when an employee of the London ZSL Zoo, Joan Proctor successfully trained this Komodo dragon to go out to eat using his voice. In fact, he can call the Komodo dragon when he himself was not seen by the Komodo dragon.

Other facts about dragons based on research conducted by researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia at the end of 2005, it can be concluded that Perentie lizards (Varanus giganteus) and other lizards including Komodo dragons, may have some sort of can. This is used to reinforce the assumption which has been said that Komodo dragon sores are only prone to infection because of the bacteria that breed in the Komodo dragon’s mouth.

However, these studies prove that in fact, there is a direct effect that appears on Komodo dragon bite wounds caused by the entry of toxins or with medium strength.

Research carried out on wounds on human hands caused by the bite of monitor lizards Varanus varius, V. scalaris and Komodo dragons. Everything turned out to show a similar reaction, which occurs swelling rapidly in a few minutes, local disruption of blood clots, and pain that grips to the elbow, accompanied by several symptoms that persist for the next several hours.

The researchers also successfully took a very poisonous can from the mouth of a Komodo dragon at the Singapore Zoo (see also: Full Profile of the State of Singapore ). This could be what further convinced the researchers of the content that can be owned by dragons.

Besides being able to, another thing that makes dragons bite very dangerous is the presence of various deadly bacteria in the Komodo dragon’s saliva. At least, there are more than 28 Gram-negative and 29 Gram-positive bacteria.

Bacteria that live in saliva can cause septicemia in victims. The Komodo dragon bite is considered very terrible. If you do not die immediately because you can and bleed, the Komodo dragon bite victim will usually die within one week due to the infection he experienced.

The deadliest bacterium that lives in the Komodo dragon’s saliva is the Pasteurella multocida bacterium. These deadly bacteria are known through experiments conducted with laboratory mice.

Interestingly, dragons are immune to their own microbes. Therefore, many studies have been conducted to find out what antibacterial molecules are in the body of the Komodo dragon in the hope that it can be used for human medicine.

 

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