Komodo Dragon Predators (Facts, Diet)
The Komodo is a big and formidable lizard, in fact, the largest. But I was wondering what animals prey on them. In reality, no matter how big you are, there must always be danger or predators, right? Let me explain.
What are the predators of Komodo Dragons? Other Komodo Dragons and humans are their biggest predators. However, as hatchlings, they are also preyed upon by birds of prey. Because they are so big and ferocious they are usually the attackers.
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Now you know what their main predators are. Let me explain in more detail and also explain if they can be kept as pets, if they are endangered, what food they eat, how they attack them and much more.
More Detail about Komodo dragons Predators
Komodo dragons do not have many Predators simply because they are so big and dangerous in their own right however there are some.
Predators as Hatchling
When they are hatchlings their biggest predators are:
- Other komodo dragons
- Also birds of prey
As a hatchling, they are left to fend for themselves by their own mother. Their mother digs a hole, buries the egg and abandons them to hatch and take life in their own stride.
Unfortunately, it is even possible for the Komodo dragons own mother to attack and even eat it if she finds it at a later date after it hatches.
Adult Komodo Dragon Predators
As they get older their Predators change slightly. The biggest predators become:
- Other Komodo Dragons
- and us Humans
Unfortunately, humans pose the biggest threat. There is an appetite to hunt for Komodo Dragons (Click to see my article on why they are called Dragons). They are seen as treasures, but more on this later on in the article.
Are the Komodo Dragons endangered species?
Yes, they are endangered species, according to wikipedia. And they are actually on the international protective list.
In fact, they are only allowed to be kept by zoos and educational institutions. And they are closely monitored to make sure that their numbers do not reduce.
Currently, there are 5000 komodo dragons. The biggest concern is that there are not enough females breeding to increase these numbers.
It is estimated that there are approximately 350 breeding females which is a cause for concern.
The biggest danger to their numbers is illegal hunting and other inhabitants of their natural habitat.
Unfortunately, people hunt them for their body parts which they can sell on on the black market. In the early part of last century, they were also hunted and sold to zoos or black market private buyers.
They are also hunted for their skin and their feet to make novelty items which can be resold.
What do Komodo Dragons eat (pray upon)?
As you can imagine, Komodo Dragons are carnivores. Meaning they primarily eat meat. They have a huge appetite and hunt large animals. Such as:
- Water buffalo
- and Carrion (decaying dead animals, e.g. roadkill)
They have such a big appetite that they can even eat up to 80% of their body weight in one single sitting.
How do Komodo Dragons attack their prey?
The Komodo dragon uses a simple technique of knocking over its prey and using its large serrated teeth, which are very similar to shark’s teeth, almost like razor blades. Then shredding their prey and causing horrific injuries.
If their prey is not immediately killed by this attack, within 24 hours they’re expected to die due to the venomous bite of the Komodo dragon.
This saliva is believed to hold 50 strains of bacteria. Their victim’s blood will effectively be poisoned and effectively die (on their back? click here) from this attack. The Komodo dragon will find them later with its very keen sense of smell for blood. It will locate the victim and devours them.
Is it possible to keep a Komodo dragon as a pet?
No, it is illegal to keep them as pets. In fact, as stated earlier they are protected animals and only zoos and educational institutions are allowed to keep them.
In addition to this, they are very vicious animals and one bite from them could lead to your death. So, it’s not advisable for an average person to even think of having them as a pet.
In addition to this, even if you were brave enough and allowed to keep one, these animals require a very large enclosure and large amounts of food to eat.
As discussed earlier they would expect large animals such as water buffalos or deers. These types of livestock can be purchased but it’ll be very difficult to maintain financially and logistically.
The deceiving thing about these animals is if you ever come across them in a zoo or in an educational institution they are usually quite well behaved.
They are well trained and have a very likable temperament. This is because in captivity they are handled very well so that they are not an immediate danger to humans.
This doesn’t mean that they are not capable of attacking anyone in captivity. It just means that they are treated very differently than if they were in the wild.
Q: How fast can a Komodo Dragon run?
Komodo dragons, believe it or not, are very fast lizards. You may look at them and assume they are really slow based on their humongous size. However, in reality, they can run as fast as 12 miles per hour in short sprints.
Bear in mind this does not mean they are capable of sustaining this speed at any great length of time but it is enough for them to sprint up to their prey and deal with them.
They are also very good in the water and can dive as far as 15 feet deep.
Q: Where is the Komodo dragons natural habitat?
They are located in five separate Islands located in Southeastern Indonesia. In particular:
- Gili Montang
- Gili Dasami
In their natural habitat, they are mainly surrounded by savanna grassland and Forest.
Q: How can you save the Komodo dragon?
As discussed earlier the Komodo dragon is an endangered species. And you may be thinking to yourself how can you help to save them and stop their numbers reducing?
There are a few simple things that you can do that can contribute to helping them to survive. Firstly do not purchase anything which is made from Komodo Dragons.
This includes ornaments or any type of offering that may have been made from Komodo Dragons. The likelihood is, they were illegally hunted. However tempting it may be, don’t buy it. you will be contributing to the illegal black market.
Secondly, you should avoid buying any timber or wood which originates from Komodo Island. This will help to keep their natural habitat intact. This will indirectly help them to last longer.
Finally, as a tourist of Komodo Island, if you are ever fortunate to visit, make sure you do not do anything to harm them.
Q: Are Komodo Dragons Bigger than a Lace Monitor?
Yes, the Komodo is bigger than a Lace Monitor (Click for the full article on Komodo vs Lace Monitor). The Komodo is the largest lizard and a formidable carnivore.
Q: Why would a Female Komodo Dragon Attack its own Hatchling?
When a female lays her eggs, she simply buries it. Then she immediately disappears. The reality is she forgets where she buried it and never gets to even meet it as a hatchling. Once it is hatched the chances are she will not even know it is her hatchling.
Its sounds weird when we compare this behaviour to humans, but this is nature.