- Komodo Dragon
Komodo dragons are the largest and heaviest living lizard. In the wild, they can only be found on five islands in Indonesia. In fact, theirs is the smallest home range of any large predator.
While their territory might be small, these lizards are at the top of the food chain. In addition to having 60 short, serrated, sharp teeth, Komodos are incredibly skilled hunters. Komodos have been known to find prey up to one mile away, and carrion up to 2.5 miles away.
Once their prey has been located, adult Komodos will attack large animals, including deer and wild boar, by striking their legs, knocking them off balance. Once the prey is down, the Komodos will bite them. Even if an animal has been bitten by a dragon and escaped, it will likely not get far.
The bite of a Komodo dragon is quite dangerous, and in most cases, deadly. Their saliva contains several strains of bacteria. In the wild, over 23 documented species of bacteria have been found. In captivity, only about 10 of those have been recorded. They also have a venom gland, which, when bitten, prevents the prey's blood from clotting.
Memphis Zoo has a long and storied history with these great dragons. The Dragon's Lair opened in 1998.