12 February 2011

This is the story about the dragon. Not just a legend, but it is really a dragon that still inhabit the islands of eastern Indonesia and the middle. Giant reptiles of the world has a reputation as a top predator in its class.

Since the first on the island of Komodo, the ranks of Flores Island, Indonesia, has emerged the story of a giant dragon. Many sailors who recounts that the dragon is more like a scary monster.
Large tail can knock down a buffalo with a single flick. Jaws were large and strong, to be able to swallow a wild pig in one motion. And from his mouth constantly spewing fire.

This story has circulated widely and could attract the attention of many people. But no one had ever dared to approach the island to prove it. Until finally in the early 1910s, came the report of the combat force the Dutch fleet, based in Flores about the mysterious creature allegedly "dragon" inhabit a small island in the Lesser Sunda Islands (now ranks of Flores Island, Nusa Tenggara).

Dutch military sailors gave a report that the creature is likely to be measuring up to seven meters long, with a giant body and mouth are constantly spewing fire. Lieutenant Steyn van Hensbroek, an official of the Dutch colonial administration in the region of Flores heard these reports and stories that surround the island of Komodo. He also planned a trip to Komodo Island.

After arming himself and took a team of trained soldiers, he landed on the island. After several days on the island, Hensbroek managed to kill a strange species.

He took him to headquarters and length measurements were taken that catch length about 2.1 meters. The shape is very much like a lizard. Animals were then photographed (documented) by Peter A Ouwens, director of the Zoological Museum and Botanical Gardens Bogor, Java. This is the first documentation of the dragons.

Ouwens interested in finding these strange animals. He then recruited a cunning hunter to capture specimens for him. The hunters managed to kill two dragons tail measuring 3.1 meters and 3.35 meters, plus the capture of two chicks, each measuring one meter below.

Based on the catch of the hunters, Ouwens conducted research and concluded that the Komodo dragon is not a flamethrower, but including the type of monitor lizard in the class of reptiles.

The results of this study later published in a newspaper published in 1912. In the news, Ouwens advise the name of the giant lizard Varanus komodoensis nickname instead of the Komodo Dragon (Komodo Dragon).

Realizing the significance of endangered species komodo, the Dutch government issued a regulation and protection of dragons and Komodo Island in 1915. Be region as the Komodo dragon conservation area.

Findings komodo dragon living legend, curious world. Several scientific expeditions from different countries take turns conducting research on Komodo Island.


Prehistoric Animals who Survived
After World War I, a scientific expedition designed to conduct research dragons. In 1926, the expedition led by W. Douglas Burden from the American Museum of Natural History with the most modern research tools, doing research for months.

The expedition which involves dozens of people were caught 27 animals dragons. They perform surgical anatomy and identification of species. From this first comprehensive scientific report on the Komodo dragon is made.

Described that the dragons have a large head and strong, has a pair of shining eyes, her skin was hard, thick and wiry. Having kelambir wrinkled skin under her neck.

The shape is similar to a lizard, with four big fat legs and tail are also a big fat long. Has 26 sharp teeth, each measuring 4 cm, has a forked tongue is bright red. If viewed from a distance, the tongue is extended to resemble a fire, because dragons are often stuck out his tongue like a snake.

Komodo also skilled hunters. He relies on the bite and poison the bacteria in his saliva to paralyz
e prey. He will follow prey that have been hurt for days, until finally died, then he ate it. As a carnivore and scavenger (scavengers), dragons are only found on the island of Komodo, Rinca, Padar, Gili Motang Owadi and Samiin. Komodo dragons are also known as a champion of animal swimming. That's how he was doing exploration on the islands around Flores.

Meanwhile, in the mid-20th century, in Australia discovered fossils of ancient creatures that once studied very similar to the dragons. Based on carbon test, the fossil was believed to have originated from the period 60-30 million years ago. This means that dragons once inhabited mainland Australia in prehistoric times.

But, researchers are still puzzled by the relationship with the fossil Komodo dragons from Australia. Although the earth's geological history indicates that the former Australia and some islands of Indonesia is one plate, but the Komodo Island is estimated to form about 1 million years ago.

While based on research, prehistoric dragons are extinct at least 30 million years ago, prior to Komodo Island is formed. So, why dragons are found only on Komodo Island and its surroundings? Since when did inhabit the island of Komodo dragons? While it is never found traces of rawhide dragons elsewhere (except Australia). This is one mystery that demands further research.

Komodo Birth From "Virgin" Mother
Just 18 days ago, waiting zoologists at the zoo for Chester Zoo, Manchester, England, ended. A natural phenomenon that shocked the world of animal science. A female komodo dragons are still virgin, managed to lay eggs and hatch five of them.

Based on news reported by the Associated Press, Flora of the name-so-successful female dragons that gave birth to five baby dragons without the participation of the male inhabitants of the island of Komodo in the process of fertilization.

"Flora is very impressive, we were happy to know she is a mother and father of her babies," said Kevin Buley, curator of the zoo for the type of vertebrates and invertebrates.
In mid-January 2007, the eggs begin to break after eight-month period containing the peak occurring on January 23, 2007, with the birth of five Komodo dragons. While the two other eggs still dieraminya.

"Application of the conservation breeding program is very unusual, because it opens new avenues, where the animals can potentially be a colony on an island," Buley said.

"Females are able to swim across a new island, and then incubate the eggs, and then dating her male babies and sexually normal produce a new generation," he added.
DNA tests provide accurate evidence that the truly successful Flora gave birth to her child without the help of males.

Mentioned again, the size of the dragon babies is between 16 inches (40 cm) up to 18 inches (45 cm) and weigh between 3 ½ - 4 ½ ounces (100-125 grams).

Eating Crickets and Grasshoppers
The five children descent Flora the Komodo dragon is born in good health and only eat crickets and grasshoppers as food diet. This is consistent with the original life of dragons in the wild.
Based on scientific knowledge, while growing up, baby-baby Komodo dragons can reach lengths of 10 feet (3 meters) and weighs about 300 pounds (135 kilograms). If achieving this extraordinary measure, they will be able to eat round a pig or deer.

Well, a savage appetite in reptiles this explains why Flora is not allowed to be near her children. "There was no maternal instinct at self-dragons. So, it is natural to keep their children away from their mothers. Its mother will try to eat anything that came in front of his nose, "said Buley.
According to the data, about 70 species of reptiles including snakes and lizards known to reproduce asexually (without the associated sex) in a process known scientifically as parthenogenesis. However, the conception of virginity (virginity) Flora and other komodo dragon in April at London Zoo is the first documented.

Two conceptions of virginity was announced in September, which stated in a scientific paper in the journal Nature.

The inhabitants of Komodo Island
Komodo dragons are native to islands of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. The island's most lots occupied by dragons are named according to the name of this animal when found in 1910, namely the island of Komodo (Komodo Island).

These giant lizards, including the nearly extinct animal, with a population of less than 4,000 wild birds. To protect the Komodo dragon, in 1980 agreed to form a conservation area in the form of Komodo National Park on Komodo Island and small islands around it.

Distribution and population of dragons in the past three decades is declining and increasingly threatened its existence, mainly due to hunting deer, as its main prey. Even the population on the island of Padar known to have been lost since the late 1990s, whereas in the early 1980s, the

Komodo dragon can still be found there. Attention and conservation of this species should be given in particular, because the population of dragons on the verge of extinction.
For some residents on the island of Komodo, these animals are considered more dangerous to humans than crocodiles, because the content of bacteria in their saliva that can cause severe infections.

Typically, dragons mating season occurs between June to July. In August, female dragons will dig a nest of birds nest mound former Coral (Megapodius Reindwardt) on the hill and nest hole in the ground, to keep their eggs which can reach 38 points. Eggs are usually guarded by its mother, but the new child born in February or March is not maintained, even frequently eaten.

Komodo dragons take five years to grow to the size of two feet and can live for up to 30 years. Entering the initial period of 4-5 years are sexually mature dragons.


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