The varans of Komodo

Among the many thousands of islands on which Indonesia is located, there is a small island of Komodo, located east of the island of Java. Now its name is known to all geographers and zoogeographers of the globe, because here are preserved and live the rarest and mysterious animals - the descendants of prehistoric predatory lizards, extinct on earth 160 million years ago. These are the largest amphibian giant amphibians - the varans of the island of Komodo.

These are the largest amphibian giant amphibians - the varans of the island of Komodo

Varans first let know about themselves in 1911 from the Dutch pilot Hendrik Van Bosse. After the plane crash, he lived almost a year as a solitary Robinson on this, then not even marked on the maps, a small, dismembered mountain and gorges, overgrown with thickets of various bushes and bamboo, the island. There are also groves of coconut trees. On the island of Komodo, in addition to the huge lizards, there are wild deer, pigs, monkeys and numerous birds.

Van Bosse had a firearm, and he was not starving. Varans did not show interest in him, but he could not get used to their "society" anyway. I slept in the trees. In the end, the pilot left the island. After exhausting, full of difficulties and hardships 57-day voyage on a makeshift raft, he, hardly alive, reached the island of Timor. His stories caused a real sensation among contemporaries. Since then, the interest in the island of Komodo from researchers and travelers has not dried up. Here, on a "date" with the "dragons", as the giant lizards are often called, numerous scientific expeditions from all over the world often come.

The varans of the island of Komodo really reach impressive sizes, often up to 3.5 or even more meters, with a mass of 100-150 kg. They hunt for deer, pigs, and even crocodiles. Do not disdain and small animals - rats, bird eggs. The main, very effective and powerful weapon of the varans, is the long tail with which they are capable of inflicting a mortal blow to their victim. An important weapon is the animal's jaws: 26 powerful teeth, each 4 cm long, sharp as the teeth of a well-ground saw. In the eyes of the researchers, four lizards, which are called in one sitting, ate a large deer along with horns and hoofs. They are also able to swallow huge pieces of meat. So, in the stomach of one of the lizards discovered... half a boar! Interestingly, these giants hatch from eggs, not much more goose. But already at the age of 4-5 years, the tail of the tail can kill a wild boar or a deer. They live, they believe, 50-60 years. On land, the varans move, holding their bodies high on their elbows and dragging their tail. Varans are good swimmers, while the tail serves them both as an oar and a rudder. However, they have weak eyesight and hearing. These qualities replace an excellent sense of smell. Inhabitants of Komodo Island dwell in deep burrows dug in loose earth, good clawed strong paws - fine digging tools, as well as in crevices between stones. For all its not very pleasant appearance and predatory nature, with the inhabitants of the only settlement that arose on the eastern, comparatively canopy bank of the island, they live peacefully, except that sometimes they steal a chicken or a dog. These animals can do without food for 3 months.

The varans of the Komodo island do not live well in captivity. Just a few lizards live in zoos in the world. It is forbidden to hunt Komodo lizards. According to scientists, there are about 5000 of them. They are followed by systematic observations.