Anti-Caturday: There’s a Dragon in Komodo

Komodo Dragon by Poppet Maulding
Komodo Dragon by Poppet Maulding

I’ve long been utterly fascinated with Komodo Dragons for a long while now. They’re largest living species of lizard and while they were once spread out over vast distances, even as far as Australia, they are now restricted to only a few islands in Indonesia. They’re the only large predators on these islands and consequently they eat pretty much everything that moves and even some of the things that don’t (meaning carrion). You wouldn’t know it by looking at them but they’re pretty fast, faster than the average human. That’s not how they hunt though. These suckers will just simply get one bite into the prey, unexpectedly. Their mouths are so full of all kinds of infection inducing bacteria that they might as well be poisonous. They bite you and then they just wait for you to die of sepsis before they consume you. Lovely.

But the most fascinating thing about Komodo Dragons is how beautifully they prove what many religions and especially creationists get wrong; the female is the basis of a species. The dragons normally reproduce through sexual reproduction, whenever females have access to males. When that access is cut off however, the females reproduce all by their lonesomes. It was long thought that the captive females laying eggs fertilized them from stored sperm but in 2006 it was confirmed that they were reproducing through parthenogenesi. A true virgin birth in other words.

NYC - AMNH - Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians - Komodo Dragon by Wally Gobetz
NYC – AMNH – Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians – Komodo Dragon by Wally Gobetz

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