Komodo Dragon Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

In this lesson, you will learn about Komodo dragons, what they look like, where they live and what they eat. You will also learn some cool facts about them and what makes them unique!

What Are Komodo Dragons?

Are these the giant fire-breathing dragons with huge wings and cat-like eyes from story books? No! They are real, much more interesting and just as deadly! Komodo dragons are the biggest known lizards on Earth! These aren't the lizards you might've seen in your yard or at the playground, however. Komodo dragons can grow to be 10 feet long and weigh over 300 pounds! That means one of these lizards is about as heavy as a large black bear!

Komodo dragons are reptiles because they have scales on their body, lay eggs and have a body temperature that changes with the temperature of their surroundings, which means they are cold-blooded. When Komodo dragon babies hatch out of their eggs, they are already about 16 inches long and have to take care of themselves. If they don't get eaten as a snack, they can live to be about 30 years old!

They are very strong, have long, powerful tails, short legs, sharp claws, and jagged, knife-like teeth. Their coloring helps them blend in with their surroundings, which is helpful for hunting prey.

What Do Komodo Dragons Eat?

Komodo dragons are carnivores, which means they only eat meat. Some animals they hunt are deer, pigs, smaller Komodo dragons, goats, water buffalo and even humans if they are in the area.

Komodo dragons use their eyesight and hearing to find their prey to a point, but mostly use their strong sense of smell. They have a forked tongue, which is split in two sections like a snake's. They flick it in and out, touching it to the top of their mouth. These lizards have a special organ in their mouth that can pick up the scent of their next meal.

Like many lizards, they are venomous, which means they produce a poison that gets into their prey when they bite.

These giant lizards may wait for hours for prey to come along. When it does, they quickly attack and knock it to the ground. Using sharp claws and teeth, they rip it apart. If the prey somehow gets away after being bitten, it will still die because of Komodo dragon's venom. The dragon will then look for the dead animal and eat it.

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