Komodo Dragons kill with a venomous bite!

It used to be thought they did not have venom but just had a highly septic bite, That theory is now dispelled.

See also
komodo dragons hunt buffalo

That is some slooooow acting venom, takes 3 years… :slight_smile:

Glad to hear this. That idea about fortuitous bacteria causing sepsis always seemed sort of fishy to me. slow-aqcting toxin seems more probable. Why is it that the idea of sepsis got introduced and lasted so long? As far as I know, no other creature uses such a system. And fangless poison is used for disabl8ing prey by the Gila Monster and the Beaded Lizard.

Is there any reason it can’t be both?


Earlier thread. At the bottom, note where I cite Darwin’s Finch.

Isn’t science wonderful?

It surprises me they can figure out the saliva has bacteria, but not that they’re venomous. Can’t they just dissect one? Aren’t venom glands obvious?

This is interesting news to me - kinda cool. Just a week and a half ago I was at the San Diego Zoo telling my daughter about how the Komodo Dragons don’t have true venom, but might as well 'cause of the bacteria. It appears I’ll have to revise my story…

(And I share AaronX’s surprise that something like this could have gone undetected for so long. To me, that’s also interesting.)

Yes, the wiki entry details how they were detected via MRI and extracted.

An article I read years ago said that the dragons were very hard to examine because they are actually very fragile. Attempts to keep adults in captivity failed. Those that are in zoos were captured soon after hatching and raised in captivity.

I don’t remember where I read it, it may have been Discover Magazine or The Smithsonian. I can’t speak to the veracity of the article today.