This giant lizard of Southeast Asia is now known to be venomous
The Komodo Dragon (a monitor lizard) is thought to be the largest lizard in the world, living on a few small islands in Indonesia. Males grow to an average weight of about 91 kilograms (200 lb). The younger members of this species of giant lizard can climb trees.
The existence of the Komodo Dragon was first documented by some Europeans in about 1910. The island where these lizards are mostly found, Komodo Island, may have inspired the 1933 movie "King Kong."
In 2009, the findings of Dr. Bryan Fry (University of Melbourne) and his associates revealed to the world that the Komodo Dragon is indeed venomous, contrary to long-standing assumptions to the contrary.
The venom prevents or reduces blood-clotting and causes a drop in blood pressure. Apparently the relatively slow action of the venom led scientists to assume, for many years, that bacteria in the Dragon's saliva was what caused victims and prey to become sick, rather than
any venom. But Fry's research led to the truth.
To the east of Indonesia, in Papua New Guinea, lives a nocturnal flying creature that is also sometimes labeled "dragon." The Ropen, for many
years, was assumed to be a misidentification of a Flying Fox fruit bat. But research, expeditions, and many eyewitness testimonies have shown that this bioluminescent flying creature, is different. It has a long tail with a Rhamphorhynchoid flange at the end.
dragon of Papua New Guinea
The giant Indonesian monitor lizard, Komodo Dragon, recently discovered to be venomous