Komodo Islands: The Dragons

8:11 PM

Fresh from the Komodo Islands more photos! As I mentioned in a previous post "Komodo Islands Birding" my brother David is currently travelling throughout Indonesia and his travels have taken him to the Komodo Islands. While he has spent much of his time underwater with sharks, sea turtles, manta rays and fish he did get the chance to spend some time topside at Komodo National Park. Today he sent me the photos below after he finally got an internet signal after being on a boat, in the ocean for 5 days. I was happy to hear from him especially after the large earthquake that just hit Bali (his next destination).

Komodo Islands

Entrance to Komodo National Park. Note the white piece of paper taped onto the sign which reads "CAUTION: Do not give eat/snacks to Komodo dragons, monkeys, and other animals here." Yes, remember people when you encounter the largest and perhaps most dangerous lizard in the world please don't hand feed it! Scary that visitors actually need the reminder!

Lazy lazy Komodo Dragons.

The life of a Komodo Dragon is a tough one! Lounging around all day.
The dragons in the park are used to people and behave more like captive animals.

Komodo Dragon.

A Komodo Dragon nest! Eggs are laid in an abandoned Megapode nest.
What's a Megapode you ask? Keep reading and scrolling down.

Water Buffalo and Deer skulls. Victims of the Komodo Dragons, who stalk their prey, bite them and wait for the prey to die of an infection from the 12 strains of bacteria in their mouth or so we thought! New research by world renowned Herpetologist Dr. Bryan Fry suggests that this notion of bacteria is a "fairy tale" and the dragons actually do have venom. Cool stuff!

This is the Orange-Footed Scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt) or Megapode. This photo is a bit fuzzy if you are having trouble seeing the bird, look at the below photo for clarification.

The turkey like Megapode or Mound Bird creates a gigantic mound of a nest (you can see how big the nests are in the above photo- they are Komodo size). So large that the Komodo Dragon's use old Megapode nests to lay their eggs in. Pretty cool relationship between the two! For a better picture of the Orange-Footed Scrubfowl click here.

Thanks to my brother David for the photos! When he returns home I might just have some additional photos to share from his adventures in Indonesia.

Happy Birding and Herping!

~ Kristen Martyn

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  1. The pic of the "Lazy Lazy Komodo Dragons" is of a "sick dragon" (right side) according to the tour guide. The others all hang out around the kitchen because they "smell the meat in the kitchen. We never feed them." About 15 minutes later a guy came out of the cabin an threw some chicken at them. The dragons went MAD! Kind of sad really. The nests are up to 2m deep and they only lay their eggs in one of the burrows to confuse predators (usually other dragons). All of my dragon pics are from the island of Rinca in Komodo National Park.

    There is a Sea Eagle (maybe even two) flying around in the first picture posted (you can barely make it out). Glad you could use the pics Kris!

    Again all of my info is from a local tour guide so take it for what it's worth. Kristen's info is from her knowledge and research. Atta be Kris!


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