Komodo Dragons - The World's largest Lizards

July 31- Aug 01, 2008 - Rinca Island, Indonesia
  • My love of the extremes of nature brought me to Komodo National Park where the largest lizards in the word, the Komodo Dragons, live. They can grow to 3 meters in length (10 feet) and their bite packs a punch with a mouthful of virulent, bacteria laden saliva.
  • While photographing them, I crouched down about 2 meters away from a large male and got low to the ground to take a photo . While I was standing up the dragon paid no attention to me, but as soon as I got down low and appeared like a small, moving object, it suddenly decided that I was on the menu and charged straight for me. I was with a park ranger at the time and the two of us used long poles to keep the lizard away. There is no hospital close by so a bite would've been undesirable, to say the least.
  • Later on, another incident occurred where we had to quickly get off a trail when two large males who were fighting, came charging down the path at full speed. It 's surprising how fast they can run and we had no interest in getting in their way. They are truly fascinating creatures and it was a great privilege to spend time amongst them.
  • Komodo Dragons - YouTube



    A large male walking through the mud. They "taste" the air with their long tongues to find food.

    The saliva of Komodo Dragons is full of bacteria which is almost guaranteed to cause a serious infection if you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by one.



    It has been recently discovered that the dragons not only have bacteria as a weapon, but they are also produce a venom.

    A three meter Komodo Dragon on the prowl. This one looks hungry.



    Getting close. When I got low down to take a photo, the giant lizard tried to attack. Luckily, the ranger and I were armed with long sticks to keep it at bay. When they want to, they can move very quickly, up to 18 km/h.

    Their teeth are serrated like a steak knife and they always seem to be drooling. If they bite a deer or buffalo, it's only a matter of time before it dies of bacterial infection. The dragons then scavenge the bodies.


    A female guarding her nest which contains a clutch of eggs.