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Birdorable "Hardly any wetland bird is more easily identified than the Roseate Spoonbill"

This article contains information relating to a former cryptid. Former cryptids are either cryptids proven to exist, or those that are no longer considered cryptids.

Scientific Classification
















V. komodoensis

The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also known as the Komodo Monitor, is the largest living lizard on Earth. This species is native to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar. The Komodo Dragon can reach a maximum length of 3 meters (10 feet). It was previously believed that these creatures killed their prey using bacteria in their mouths, but it is now known that they are actually venomous, making them the third known venomous lizard.

In 1910, rumors and sightings of a "land crocodile" reached Lieutenant van Steyn van Hensbroek of the Dutch colonial administration. He documented the first European encounter with Komodo dragons. The director of the Zoological Museum at Bogor, Java, Peter Ouwens, published a paper on the topic in 1912 after receiving a photo and a skin from the lieutenant, as well as two other specimens from a collector. The first two live Komodo dragons arrived in Europe and were exhibited in the Reptile House at London Zoo when it opened in 1927. Joan Beauchamp Procter made some of the earliest observations of these animals in captivity and demonstrated the behavior of one of these animals at a Scientific Meeting of the Zoological Society of London in 1928.

In 1926, W. Douglas Burden led an expedition to study the Komodo dragon on Komodo Island. The team brought back 12 preserved specimens and 2 live ones, which later inspired the 1933 movie "King Kong." Burden is credited with coining the common name "Komodo dragon," and three of his specimens are still on display at the American Museum of Natural History.

The Dutch government recognized the limited population of Komodo dragons in the wild and, as a result, banned sport hunting and heavily restricted the number of dragons taken for scientific study. Collecting expeditions ceased during World War II and did not resume until the 1950s and 1960s, when research focused on the Komodo dragon's feeding behavior, reproduction, and body temperature. During this time, an expedition was organized for a long-term study of the Komodo dragon, carried out by the Auffenberg family. They spent 11 months on Komodo Island in 1969, during which Walter Auffenberg and his assistant, Putra Sastrawan, captured and tagged over 50 Komodo dragons. The research from this expedition greatly contributed to the understanding of Komodo dragons in captivity. Subsequent research, led by biologists such as Claudio Ciofi, has provided a more comprehensive understanding of the nature of the Komodo dragon.

In 1927, the first Komodo dragons in captivity were displayed at the London Zoo. A Komodo dragon was also exhibited in 1934 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., but unfortunately, it only lived for two years. More attempts to exhibit Komodo dragons were made, but the creatures had a very short lifespan, averaging five years in the National Zoological Park. Walter Auffenberg's studies, documented in his book "The Behavioral Ecology of the Komodo Monitor," eventually allowed for more successful management and reproduction of the dragons in captivity.


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