VARANUS KOMODOENSIS, is the scientific name of the Komodo Dragons, discovered by Dutch sailors in XIX century.
The creature was supposedly a dragon that habited in a small island belonging to the Pacific Ring of Fire. The sailors reported that the
dragon was more than 7 meters long with a mouth that spit fire constantly. After hearing these reports, Lieutenant Steyn Van Hensbroek planned a trip to Komodo Island. He was accompanied by a group of armed men, who after a few days succeeded in killing the first specimen. After many further studies, it was concluded that no flames were thrown by the mouth, and that it was a type of monitor lizard (the results were published in 1912)
Realizing the danger of extinction of these dragons, the Dutch government published a regulation on the protection of these animals in 1915.
It is the largest lizard in the world, with an average length of two to three meters and a weight of about 70 kg. As a result of their size, they are the super predators of
the ecosystems in which they live. Although these lizards feed mainly on carrion, they also hunt and ambush their prey, including invertebrates, birds and mammals.
Mating season begins between July and August and egg laying in September. They deposit about twenty eggs in nests of abandoned mega pods, and incubate them for seven or eight months, until their hatching in April, when the insects are more abundant. Young specimens are vulnerable, so they often live in trees, safe from predators and cannibal adults. They take about three to five years to mature, and can live to about fifty years.
Many natives of Komodo Island have a belief that dragons are actually the reincarnation of former companions, so they should be treated with reverence and respect.
Komodo National Park was founded in 1980, with the intention of protecting the dragon. The objective was subsequently extended to protect the fauna and flora of the region, including sea areas.
In 1991 UNESCO intervened declaring it a World Heritage Site. On November 11, 2011 Komodo National Park was declared one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
From February 2017 IHASIA Diving Komodo invites you to know these historical and spectacular animals, embarking on an adventure that will include 2 dives and trekings along the island of Rinca, one of the islands that shelter and protect these creatures.