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NYC - AMNH - Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians - Komodo Dragon | by wallyg
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NYC - AMNH - Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians - Komodo Dragon

The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), called "Ora" in its native Indonesia, is the largest living lizard. Males reach a length of 10 feet and a weight of 200 pounds. These lizards occupy the small East Indian islands of Komodo, Rintja and Padar and nearby islets; they also live on part of the large island of Flores. Considered an endangered species, the Komodo Dragon is protected by Indonesian law.


Komodo Island, as seen in this exhibit, is largely grass-covered. For most of the year no rain falls and, except for scattered palms, trees grow mostly at high elevations or along stream beds. Young dragons spend much time in trees and eat insects and smaller lizards, wheras older dragons become too large to climb, and feed on the ground. Large dragons ambust their prey along game trails or actively seek it out. They kill wild pigs, deer and even water buffaloes and horses, but carrion is an important sorce of food.


The lizards in this exhibit were collected by the W. Douglas Burden Expedition to the Indonesian Island of Komodo in 1926.


The dioramas of the American Museum of Natural History's Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians, with their precise depictions of geographical locations and the careful, anatomically correct mounting of the specimens, are windows onto a world of animals, their behavior, and their habitats. Moreover, since many of the environments represented have been exploited or degraded, some dioramas preserve places and animals as they no longer exist.

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Taken on December 8, 2007