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Komodo Island

Komodo Island Paradise

Surrounded by swift currents, and man-eating sharks, the Komodo Island is located in the middle of 17,000 islands between the Pacific and Indian oceans, known as Indonesia. The island is relatively small in size, just twenty-two miles long and twelve miles wide and since Komodo is close to the equator the island is always very hot. The weather on Komodo Island is very dry except when the monsoon winds bring in heavy rains from December to March. Ancient maps would mark this island by writing "Beware! Here Be Dragons!" to warn explorers of the giant lizards that lived there.

Although the majority of the Komodo dragons live on the Komodo Island, they can also be found on three surrounding islands: Flores, Gili Motang and Rinca. Until the 1970's they also inhabited the island of Padar. A big blaze swept across the island in 1984. The plant eating animals that survived the fire had no food, and as a result died of starvation. This forced the Komodo Dragons to swim over to Rinja or Komodo in order to survive.

Komodo Island & Surrounding Habitat

(Click for larger image)

Why are the dragons only found on their remote island?

There are indications that the Komodo Islands were joined to their eastern neighbors about 20,000 years ago due to global changes in sea levels during the Pleistocene Ice Age. It is possible that the dragons were found throughout Indonesia but only those on Komodo survived unharmed. Fossils of stegadons, pygmy elephants about the size of water buffalo, have also been found on these islands and the mainland. It is possible that these were the ancient dragon's prey, although prey species similar to the modern day deer and wild boar may also have been present.


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