Also known as the Komodo monitor, Komodo dragons are the largest existing species of lizard in the world today. With a weight of up to 150 pounds and a length of up to nearly 10 feet, these predators tend to be at the top of the food chain.
Unlike other reptiles, Komodo dragons tend to work together when it comes to catching their prey. As a group, the dragons work together to ambush birds, mammals, invertebrates, and even humans. The predators typically eat Javan rusa, a type of deer, but they're also known to act as scavengers, feasting on the bodies of prey that have been killed by other animals. Komodo dragons are capable of running at speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. When they struggle to reach prey, they may stand up on their hind legs, using their tail to help them balance (much like a kangaroo).
Sadly, Komodo dragons are currently considered an endangered species. Their natural habitat has become smaller due to human activity, and it's likely that climate change will further reduce their living space. Most Komodo dragons live in Indonesia. The lizards are popular zoo exhibits, and can be found living in captivity around the world.
Komodo dragons sense differently than other animals. They only have a single ear bone and have poor hearing. Komodo dragons rely heavily on their forked tongues to smell, taste, and find food. Some of their scales have sensory plaques that are connected to nerves, allowing them to feel something similar to a sense of touch.
Komodo dragons require hot and dry areas to thrive. These dragons are ectotherms--colloquially known as cold-blooded animals. This means that they rely on external heat sources to stay am. Usually, Komodo dragons are most active during the day and least active at night.