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Komodo Dragon Eating a Turtle and Throwing Off The Shell

If there’s a competition for “reptilian badassery”, the Komodo dragon is definitely in the running. In a short clip that recently surfaced online, a Komodo dragon can be seen swaggering down a stony beach with a sizeable turtle clamped in its jaws. Any appearance by the world’s largest lizards is likely to draw some attention, but when one is wearing its quarry like a macabre victory hat, that’s bordering on the viral-video territory.

Komodo dragons can grow as big as a midsize crocodile and, while the Papua monitor of New Guinea may equal or exceed them in length, dragons claim the crown for overall gigantism. Particularly hefty ones can reach three meters (ten feet) in length and weigh 91 kilograms (200 pounds) or more.

Their impressive bulk is backed up by nearly 60 serrated teeth, large claws and muscular tails that are sometimes employed to perform defensive swipes at anything that gets too close. So if you’re holidaying in Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda archipelago, it’s probably best to keep your distance from the dragons.

Their diet usually includes carrion, deer, wild pigs, the occasional sea turtle, and even water buffalo (not to mention other dragons). Whilst attacks on humans are relatively rare, they aren’t unheard of. In 2017, a Singaporean tourist was injured after straying too close to feeding dragons.

The chunky lizards are ambush predators and will typically stakeout in tall grass or thickets to surprise their prey. They are also known to forage near the surf – beachcombing for scraps – so it’s possible that this turtle meal was scavenged.

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