A Komodo Dragon Drawing
Our thanks to young Caldey for sending into us a superb illustration of a Komodo dragon, the largest living lizard in the world today, with some individuals attaining lengths of around 3 metres and weighing as much as 75 kilogrammes.
An Illustration of a Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)
Picture Credit: Caldey
When first described by Europeans in the early years of the 20th century, this large lizard was thought to be a form of “land crocodile”. Scientist now know that the Komodo dragon is a member of the monitor lizard family, although how it evolved is a bit of a mystery. As it is restricted to a handful of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, it had been thought that a lack of other large carnivores in its habitat enabled this lizard to reach such a large size. However, some scientists now think that the Komodo dragon is part of a long line of large, ground dwelling monitor lizards that inhabited south-eastern Asia and Australia for several million years. If this is the case the Komodo dragon represents the last of this evolutionary line, “a dead clade walking”. Listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, its range has contracted due to human activity, but it has protected status within Indonesia and there are controversial plans to reduce the human population on Komodo by forcing villagers to locate elsewhere in order to protect this species.
Our thanks to Caldey for providing us with such a super Komodo dragon drawing.