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There is some disagreement and debate, but, for now, the evidence for venom in Komodo dragons looks strong.The same paper downplayed the role of bacteria in Komodo dragon kills.
Komodo dragons can move with baleful swiftness when motivated, and the slow stalking strategy has never been scientifically documented.
It was an idea that fit our belief in sluggish, malicious dragons that watch their prey’s gradual, agonizing demise, but has turned out to be little more than a popular story.
The Komodo dragon is not the first giant venomous lizard, though.
As pointed out by the authors of the 2009 study, the history of venom-bearing titans probably extends back at least 1.8 million years to an even larger lizard that scrambled across Australia.
There’s no sign that the dragons rely on bacteria to bring down prey, and the diverse bacterial communities in their mouths are more likely a byproduct of being messy eaters.
Catastrophic bite wounds and venom are more important to how these lizards feed.“The Komodo lizard is no ‘dragon’”, Knight chastised, and rightly reminded reporters that the squamate “has no relationship to Tyrannosaurus Rex, the great Cretaceous Dinosaur.” The imported oras were giant lizards, not mythological beasts or prehistoric holdovers like the island-dwelling dinosaurs in has been known to specialists and the public alike as the Komodo dragon.And despite my respect for Knight’s gorgeous artistic work and his efforts to accurately reflect the science of his time, I have to agree with public opinion on this one.The question is which part of the Komodo dragon arsenal is the most deadly.Naturalists have known about the vicious, dirty bites of Komodo dragons for decades.Thanks to their slow reptilian metabolisms, the Komodo dragons could easily wait days or weeks while the bacteria did the dirty work.Only, most of the time, the lizards quickly kill and consume their victims.Based on an MRI of a preserved Komodo dragon head, the researchers identified a venom gland in the lower jaw which fed a series of ducts which opened between the lizard’s teeth.The venom seeped out of these openings – there was no sign of ducts or tubes in the reptile’s teeth that would have helped inject venom directly.Surprisingly, despite the press’ love of prehistoric superlatives, I can’t recall hearing a word of this hypothesis when the news reports about the .This carnivore is most often restored as a bigger version of the Komodo dragon.