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Monday, February 29, 2016

The story of the last Dragons on Earth

The medieval cartographers marking at a number of sites located in the Lesser Sunda Islands or Nusa Tenggara: as the abode of the dragon. The dragons what they mean can not fly or breathe fire. However, the creature was no less terrible than mythical animals in a fairy tale. With the body of 3 meters and weighing 70 kilograms, these animals can run up to speeds of 29 km/h to catch its prey.

So when they get or catch their preys in the form of a water buffalo or elk, these creatures will use their razor sharp teeth to tear prey, while injecting a poison that makes its victims to bleed to death were tortured.
The city of Labuan Bajo dubbed the 'Gate of Komodo'. So when you landed in Labuan Bajo not complete if you do not visit and look the Komodo (Varanus komodoensis) as the last dragons in Earth. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1XdBI1)
Not only animals, 'dragon' had also been prey on humans. The dragon in question is Komodo (Varanus komodoensis), which inhabits the island of Rinca, Gili Motang, Nusa Kode, Flores and Komodo.

Actually, the giant reptiles are originally from Australia, they lived in the Kangaroo continent millions of years ago before migrating and reach Indonesian territory about 900 thousand years ago.

Komodo dragons live in the rugged landscape, bush and savanna. Animals that can be camouflaged and waiting patiently for prey to approach them. They will eat anything, even human.
The natural beauty of Komodo Island from the top. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1XdBI1)
"I have seen what can be done by these animals and how much they could injure a human being," said Achmad Ariefiandy of Komodo Survival Program (KSP). "No need to be like a movie star anyway if you eventually will be bitten by them."

There was a horrendous incident related to the Komodo dragons attack. which occurred in the Los Angeles Zoo, the United States in 2001. At that time, a komodo dragon trying to prey on foot of Phil Bronstein, an editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, which incidentally is the husband of the famous artist, Sharon Stone. Fortunately, the victim can survive even had to undergo treatment at the hospital.

Komodo can devour prey up to 80 percent of their body weight, and then they do not need to eat for a few weeks with only silence to sun bath. On several occasions, they attacked the people who live near their habitat. There were four human costs in the last 4 decades, the locals treat it as 'sacred animal'.

"The creature has a number of weapons systems," said Bryan Fry of the University of Queensland, was quoted as saying some of the BBC on Sunday, February 28, 2016.
"The teeth become the main weapon. However, if you do not die due to rupture of the femoral artery, the prey will undoubtedly have died due to blood loss."

An endangered animal
Although Komodo survived from various natural disaster: the ice age, sea level rise, earthquakes, tsunamis that happened and also devastating on the Lesser Sunda Islands.

Although tough, in fact, the biggest threat to dragons is the population and the growing human activity. Komodo captured and sold to the zoo or to the collector. Their feet and skin are considered achievements in hunting activities. Besides that the rise in sea level that is also as a result of human activities.

So the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List gives the label as an endangered animal. The Komodo National Park and many conservation efforts have so far managed to keep the animals from extinction. However, that does not mean there is no threat at all. 

The other causes, the number of eggs produced by females very little. There is no guarantee the komodo dragons can continue to survive or grow up to 7 meters like their ancestors before.

Here it is, one good news, the animal conservation efforts are also done in some zoos. It was supported by the fact that the female komodo dragons can give birth in virgin condition. Flora, the Komodo dragon that living in the Chester Zoo, London became one evident. In 2006, she gave birth to eight Komodo eggs. Through the process of parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction without fertilization).

The incident at London Zoo was recorded as the first Komodo dragons parthenogenesis in the world. The animal conservation efforts began when Claudio Ciofi, a biologist at the University of Florence who arrived in Indonesia in mid-1990s and 'falling love' with the komodo dragons.

The fact that the Komodo dragons conservation efforts initiated and led mostly foreigners, recognized by Ariefiandy as 'shameful'. "Komodo is the Indonesian national animals, Indonesian people should be done more for the komodo research and another protection efforts," he said. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BBC]
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