Morphology

The largest living lizard.

Adult male Komodo dragon can reach maximun body length of 3.1 m, and at most weight up to 100 kg; while adult female body length is up to 2,4 m, and weight up to 40 kg

  1. The Komodo has two eyes, each with 2 different eyelids. The upper eyelid is more passively moving, and on the lower eyelid there is cartilage tissue that can wipe the eye surface.
  2. Komodo’s jaw is designed for pulling and shearing flesh from its prey using 60 sharp recurved serrated teeth. The longest tooth can be up to 2 cm. The actual bite force of Komodo dragon is weaker than other large reptiles such as crocodiles. Komodo dragon's often produce large amount of saliva when expecting food. Saliva in its mouth contain several bacterial strains and toxin produced from venom gland located at the base of the teeth. 
  3. Komodo has a very sharp olfactory system supported by a Jacobson organ within the nasal chamber. Odor particles are detected by its forked tongue and then move into the Jacobson organ, causing the brain to react. The tongue has a yellow color that distinguished from water monitor Varanus salvator, which has black tongue. 
  4. Komodo’s ears play an important role by keeping balance and hearing. However, Komodo relies more on its olfactory sense.
  5. Komodo has skin with scales; each scale has bony structure called an osteoderm, this is covered in keratin. The color when it grows to adulthood will resemble clay in the Komodo National Park, and more yellowish in North Flores especially on its neck and snout.
  6. Komodo has 4 legs with 5 fingers each with curved, sharp nails. These helpto grip prey, dig nests and, in the case of juveniles, to climb trees.
  7. In juvenile Komodo, the tail is longer than the body, but as it grows larger, the tail is going to be in the same length to the body. The tail is rounded and thick stores fat reserves, contains strong muscles, help lizards with balance when it runs, and serves as paddle when it swims.