Take Two for April 3, 2013

Why counting komodo dragons is dangerous business

TO GO WITH Indonesia-animals-environment


A Komodo dragon searches the shore area of Komodo island for prey. They don't breathe fire but Komodo dragons -- the largest lizards in the world -- can kill a buffalo or any one of the intrepid tourists who flock to their deserted island habitats.

Komodo dragons are the largest species of lizards, and they've been known to grow up to ten feet long and weigh almost 200 pounds. If you saw the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, you know they can be formidable predators.

Their strong jaws and venomous bite make it easy for then to take down evil henchmen, or their preferred prey, water buffalo. But it also makes counting these reptiles a rather dangerous endeavor.

Professor Tim Jessop of the University of Melbourne studies komodos. 

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