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Komodo - Home for Dragons!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

komodo dragonsThe Island Komodo located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago not far away from Bali thanks to miracle habitants known as Komodo Dragons, is affected by numerous legends and stories for a couple of decades already.     And even the story of discovering giant lizards from an article to article appeared to be a fake. The Luxemag executed its own investigation of Komodo secrets.

The pioneer who is not a discoverer

They very often say that the Komodo Dragons were opened by the Dutch military pilot Van Bosse. While this story about the pioneer always involves fascinating details: air crush in jungles, a vis-à-vis meeting with the giant predator, and a wonderful rescue, and a risky expedition that dispelled the doubts of real skeptics who believed the tale by Van Bosse as a hunting story. So, it was like an adventure book. The only thing that there was no Van Bosse in Komodo ...

So, what really happened there? The «big kind of monitor lizard from the Komodo island» was mentioned first in 1912 in the same article by the Major Owens, the curator of the zoological museum on the Java island.  The scientist told also the history of discovery of lizards who will agitate the world in the soonest time. It turned out, that he was informed on them by the ruler of one of the neighboring islands, the Lieutenant of the Dutch Army Van Stein Van Hensbrok who learned about lizards from aborigines. He decided to equip the expedition to the desert island to that time.  The interest of the military man was provoked by assurance of the local pearl divers as if they themselves caught a couple of lizards of six meter length. The hunting by the very Van Hensbrok appeared to be less successful since the lizard was only two and a half meters length. The hunters equipped for help to Owens succeeded more in hunting: their lizard was almost three meters in length.

It seems that no very successful hunting and general feeble nature of the story made someone add more «spicy» moments and details. Moreover, the respectable military officer Van Hensbrock did not fit the role of a Hero, so he was successfully turned into the pilot with some features of the superman.  

Lizards-dinosaurs today

In vindication of Van Hensbrock I should say that six meter lizards were likely the result of stormy fantasy of pearl divers. Moreover, almost a hundred years passed from the date of discovering dinosaurs but no professional biologists have ever seen an offspring of ancient dinosaurs of over three meters long. Thus, the first hunters were lucky: usually the length of the lizard was hardly more than two meters in length. However, even such «babies» are able to cause big problems to their island neighbors.

And we really mean it since has appeared later, Komodo dragons reside the neighboring Rinca and Flores, leaving aside numerous nameless islands. Giant reptiles are good swimmers so it is very easy for them to travel from one island to another and drag away off the close village a dog or a goat.

This is curious fact but lizards are not capable in acceleration, they can speed up only to thirty kilometers per hour. Their principal weapon is patience and ruse. Lizards can hide in the long grass for hours waiting for the victim that is careless enough to drop behind the flock or just loses control. Sometimes lizards do not need to use such tricks since some deer and hogs get close enough to the predator

But the main secret is in the mouth of the lizard, as it should be with dragons. But they are not able to spew fire and their weapon is their teeth. Though the point is not only in their sharp teeth but sixty kinds of pathogenic bacteria living in the mouth of the lizard. So, even if the animal bitten by the lizard does not die at once, it will live no longer than a few days. But the instinct of lizards is perfect, they can feel the death of victims at a distance of dozens of kilometers and come back to wait and have a meal finally.

The scientists suppose that the life style of Komodo residents reminds the one led by carnivorous dinosaurs many millions years ago. So, just buy a ticket to Komodo and welcome here to have a look at the life of dinosaurs by yourselves.

«Conception»

A giant lizard is the dangerous predator but it is not the opponent to the human being. Therefore, with the purpose to protect lizards from too importunate interest of people, a National Park was opened in Komodo in 1980. It is necessary to protect these unique animals because the scientists find more and more startling features in them.

Recently the British investigators found out that female giant lizards can do without their male lizards. Those lived in the Flora and Sungai Zoo of England never contacting the opposite sex, oviposited themselves. Reproduction without male functions is called parthenogenesis from the scientific point of view and is rare to happen amid the vertebral animals.

The females managed to do without their males due to changeable weather. Walking along on the small island the female lizard do not sometimes notice as the storm starts and it gets no possible to go to the «big land» for many weeks. And the loneliness though it is sad should not become a barrier for reproduction functions.

Gift from Sharon Stone

Flores and Sungay are not only lizards living in captivity. The guest from Komodo is the pearl of many World Zoos.   As for reptiles, they get quite on well with observant. They recognize guardians and they even let the beloved ones to touch and stroke them for a while. So, if you are not the favorite with the lizard, you need to get introduced to them exactly at Komodo. And ex-husband of Sharon Stone Fil Bronstein had an opportunity to check it in practice.

Bronstein dreamed about «talking» to a real dragon. And at his birthday the Hollywood star prepared a wonderful present to him arranging an excursion with the reptile. In general, even the presence of the observant did not help Bronstein, the lizard attacked him and the latter hardly ever managed to get out of the cave.  

So, if you are interested to see how offspring of dinosaurs live you should immediately go to the Komodo. The gossips that a giant lizard may swallow a human being alive are strongly exaggerated. Besides, the watchful huntsmen working at the National Park will not leave you alone  and moreover, they will tell you many curious things on the lives of the charged animals.

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