Komodo Dragons grow to an average length of 6.5 – 10 feet (2 – 3 meter) and weigh around 70 kilograms (154 pounds). Captive komodo dragons may often weigh more, as much as 166 kilograms (365 pounds). Komodo dragons are the heaviest lizards on Earth. They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, bowed legs and huge, muscular tails. They have about 60 frequently replaced serrated teeth that can measure up to 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in length. Their saliva is frequently tinged with blood, because their teeth are almost completely covered by gingival tissue that is naturally lacerated during feeding. They also has a long, yellow, deeply-forked tongues. Their tongue is used to detect taste and smell as in many other reptiles and they can detect carrion from 4 – 9.5 kilometers (2.5 – 6 miles) away.
The Komodo dragon prefers hot and dry places and typically lives in dry open grassland, savanna, scrubland and tropical forests at low elevations. Komodo dragons dig holes that can measure from 3 – 10 feet (1 – 3 meters) wide using their powerful forelimbs and claws.
Biologists have long assumed that the big lizards, which measure about 6.5 to 9.8 feet (2 to 3 meters) and weigh about 150 to 220 pounds (68 to 100 kilograms), kill prey by infecting it with pathogenic bacteria. But the new study shows that dragons carried different pathogens in the mouths. Most of the bugs weren’t terribly unusual.
Instead, the researchers found that the lizards actually have the most complex venom-delivery system known in reptiles, which had been overlooked because the animal’s teeth are so different than those of most venomous creatures.