A normal adult Komodo dragon diet consists mainly of carrion, but it is not uncommon for them to attack and eat a variety of large prey, including goats, pigs, deer, wild boar, horses, water buffalo, and smaller Komodo dragons. Komodo dragons hunt larger prey by ambushing them and delivering a bite. They then follow the injured animal until they succumb to either blood loss or infection. The saliva of Komodo dragons is rich in bacteria that rapidly leads to infection in their prey. A recent discovery of venom in the bites of Varanus species implies that venoms may be used in subduing prey also, although specific research on Komodo dragon venom action has not been completed. Juveniles feed on grasshoppers, beetles, small geckos, eggs, birds, and eventually small mammals. Varanus komodoensis is able to swallow large pieces of food by expanding its throat and its flexible skull. They eat most of their prey, leaving very little to be wasted.
Animal Foods: birds; mammals; reptiles; eggs; carrion ; insects
Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates, Scavenger )
- Fry, B., N. Vidal, J. Norman. 2006. Early evolution of the venom system in lizards and snakes. Nature, 439: 584-588.