Kids Want To Know: How Komodo Dragons Use Their Spit To Kill

GREENSBORO, NC -- 2WTK was at McNair Elementary before school let out and Nathan asked, "What type of poisons do Komodo Dragons carry to kill their prey?"

Nathan's question is a good one. Because there's a good chance that if an animal escapes an attack by a Komodo Dragon they might die anyway due to blood poisoning or having their blood pressure drop really low.

Rick Bolling with the Greensboro Science explains the science of a komodo dragon's kill.

"Well Komodo Dragons are in a group of animals called Varanidae there the big large monitor lizards and they are largest of the monitors from Indonesia. "

Typically an adult male Komodo can get nearly 10 feet long and weigh 150 to a couple of hundreds of pounds. "For a long time it have been thought that the bacteria that is commonly found in their mouths, when they would bit an animal that the bacteria would you know would work and cause infections and wound the animals where the Komodo Dragon could then bring it down and eat it. In recent studies they have found there are some glands in the lower jaw area that are venom glands that produce proteins that can have anticoagulants, in other words the animal would bleed out and also could cause blood pressure to drop." There are the more likely causes of an animal to die from toxic shock, animal bleeding out and then could cause death.

"Komodo eat a lot of carrion which are dead animals so they scavenge around a lot, they can eat smaller animals too but they will occasionally take down a larger animal."


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