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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Komodo Dragons Are Poisonous

Contrary to common belief, researchers have determined that Komodo dragons are, in fact, venomous.

For years, scientists and zoologists believed Komodo dragons' mouths were simply bilious, filled with virulent bacteria that was passed on through their bite. This bacteria was thought to be the source of infection victims incurred. However, new research shows the largest known land lizard has venom glands with ducts attached to their teeth.

Komodo dragons, like Pit Bulls, attach themselves to their prey and hold on. Research shows their skulls are built to withstand this. The venom they produce is only 1/6 the strength of that found in the Australian water crocodile, but is believed to have come from the same ancestor - most likely, the extinct Megalania.

One expert called the concept "radical" and questioned why such glands had not been discovered previously in dissected specimens. However, he also said "it does all seem to make sense."

The bacterium theory was posited in a 1981 book and has been widely-spread, but was never actually proven.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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