Komodo Dragons Are Venomous (And Dirty)
For a long time, scientists believed that Komodo dragons killed their prey by wounding them, letting sepsis and infection do the dirty work. The giant lizards, which grow up to 12 feet and 300 pounds, would bide their time until their prey died of infection, and then the feeding would begin. However, new evidence shows that Komodo dragons are actually venomous. While the massive lizard doesn't have big fangs, it has a strong jaw, which chews a hole in its victim's flesh, into which the Komodo dragon can inject venom.
We can credit University of Melbourne's Brian Fry with the discovery; he has called BS on the blood-poisoning theory form the get-go. In discussing the Komodo dragon's poisoning technique, he uses the fantastically-quotable term "combined-arsenal killing apparatus".
Great. The giant lizards werent' scary enough as it was.
Strands of rotting flesh trapped in its teeth harbour thriving colonies of bacteria and when the dragon bites an animal, these microbes flood into the wound and eventually cause blood poisoning.
The venom, while not quite cobra-caliber, causes additional blood hemorrhaging, muscle spasms, and paralysis.
Let the record show, however, that Komodo dragons indeed have filthy mouths and claws. So don't let one bite or scratch you.
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La Mesa, California, United States