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Komodo Dragons: Cute, Deadly or Both?

The largest of all living lizards, the komodo dragon can grow to more than 10 feet long and more than 300 pounds. They can run for brief periods at speeds up to 13 mph. Though they feed mostly on carrion, these lizards can take down large prey, such as boars and goats. And if they only manage to wo...

The largest of all living lizards, the komodo dragon can grow to more than 10 feet long and more than 300 pounds. They can run for brief periods at speeds up to 13 mph. Though they feed mostly on carrion, these lizards can take down large prey, such as boars and goats. And if they only manage to wound their victim, the toxic bacteria in their saliva will kill the animal within days.



But like most creatures, komodo dragons start out small. Last year, 13 baby komodo dragons hatched at Indonesia's Surabaya Zoo. This was only the second time that komodos have hatched in captivity. (Smithsonian's National Zoo hatched four clutches in 1992.) If you think tiny lizards can be cute, you'd probably think these baby komodo dragons are pretty adorable.







Now to balance out that cuteness, how about some full-grown komodo dragons? These lizards were filmed on Rinca Island, Indonesia in Komodo National Park. They managed to take down a deer, which appears to make a nice feast.



About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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