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Komodo even more deadly than thought: Research
Date:5/18/2009

rd and inhabits the central Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Gili Dasami. It grows to an average length of two to three metres and weighs around 70 kilograms. The reptile's unusual size is attributed to a phenomenon known as island gigantism, since there are no other carnivorous mammals to fill the niche on the islands where they live.

The lizards are apex predators and dominate the ecosystems in which they live. Although Komodo dragons eat carrion, they also hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals.

The dragon's large size and fearsome reputation has made it a popular zoo exhibit since Western scientists first brought it to world attention in 1910. In the wild its total population is estimated at 4,000 to 5,000. Its range has contracted due to human activities and it is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


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Contact: Dr. Steve Wroe
s.wroe@unsw.edu.au
61-425-330-273
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

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