Komodo dragons kill man

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52 Responses to “Komodo dragons kill man”

  1. Darren Garrison says:

    “Sir, the dragons are revolting!”

  2. Ohhhsnap says:

    Antinous is correct in the hunting habits of the Komodo dragon. They will often bite their prey and simply wait for it to die and follow the scent trail.

    Also, the picture is NOT of a marine iguana. Marine iguanas are a fraction of that size, have shorter and broader snouts, as well as ridges along their back.

  3. Lucifer says:

    #6 good catch. Lately stories and illustrative images have been getting more and more disconnected. Just yesterday, they ran a news story about a kid in Thailand getting rescued by a fireman wearing a spiderman outift. The accompanying photo was that of some random dude wearing a spidey costume boogie boarding in the ocean.

  4. Capissen says:

    I remember in Cryptonomicon, Bobby Shaftoe, while stationed in the Pacific, saw a Komodo dragon basically bite a Japanese solider in half. Throughout the book, people think he’s insane when he talks about it, because at the time no one new they existed.

  5. Cpt. Tim says:

    alternate headline:

    “Nature happens”

  6. The Lizardman says:

    Stay off our land and out of our trees.

  7. TEKNA2007 says:

    Man dies stealing fruit on the Island of the Giant Dragon Lizards … who would have guessed …

    I saw an episode of Steve Irwin’s show where he was (naturally) messing with them, and one of them ran him right up a tree, then lunged at him a couple more times for good measure. Their sprint/lunge is shockingly fast, and that tail will give you one heck of a whacking. Don’t think I ever saw Steve scramble that fast before.

  8. Fred H says:

    I, for one, welcome our new Komodo Dragon overlords.

  9. Ned613 says:

    ANTINOUS@#1 I don’t believe that is exactly the hunting strategy. I think that komodo dragons only eat carrion. They hunt by maiming the prey with an infectious bite and when the prey dies the entire population can feast in the kill. So as long as some dragons go around biting prey with infectious bites there is always a pool of dead prey for every one to eat.
    I’m sure there is a technical term for this and an easier way to explain this strategy. If someone knows what it is please respond. Thanks

  10. eltonbong says:

    there is a great clip out there of the Crocodile Hunter being stalked by a Komodo…ya, I was cheering for the lizard.

  11. febryle says:

    A remote island full of killer dragons–that eat people alive!!

    Who is with me on this one? I need a Cleric, a Fighter, and a Wizard… I’ll be the bard bringing up the rear. I’ve got your back.

  12. buddy66 says:

    “Komodo dragons, however, can asexually produce fertile male offspring with which they can later mate, creating an entirely new breeding population from a single female.”

    Jesus Christ! No wonder they survived. Can anything else even remotely that size do that?

  13. Hawkman says:

    Henry Rollins does a thought provoking bit about people getting killed by creatures (and the irony of it)and how it would be a cool way to die…that is, it provides total fascination with the person describing it to someone else. Like this guy if he had kids, they would talk to their friends about their dad getting killed by Kimodo Dragons….f’ud up and strangely cool.

  14. Darwindr says:

    @#6 & #8, actually it is a Komodo Dragon (_Varanus komodoensis_), which is esentially just a really big monitor lizard.

    And they do eat mostly carrion, but can also ambush prey as large as pigs and deer! But the coolest thing is they may have originally evolved to feed on pygmy elephants!!!

  15. grimatongueworm says:

    Paging Bobby Shaftoe!

  16. 13tales says:

    From wikipedia: “The Komodo dragon has also been observed intentionally startling a pregnant deer in the hopes of a miscarriage whose remains they can eat…”

    :O

  17. TEKNA2007 says:

    So to say that the komodo dragons mauled him to death is an overstatement–they mauled him to near death. But how near is the question, isn’t the biggest threat that of severe infection of the wounds caused?

    I was wondering that too, except for the part about “and neck”. There aren’t a lot of ways for a Komodo to bite someone’s neck that doesn’t involve something vital. I guess it would depend on whether they bite once then flee, or chomp down then shake back and forth a few times. Or chomp and roll. Poor guy.

  18. Teller says:

    I believe their favorite way to kill is to attack the stomach and eviscerate the entrails. But probably to them, parts is parts.

  19. mdh says:

    So as long as some dragons go around biting prey with infectious bites there is always a pool of dead prey for every one to eat. I’m sure there is a technical term for this and an easier way to explain this strategy.

    I believe they call it credit-default swapping.

  20. Takuan says:

    there’s a good description somewhere of Komodos coming back to their sickened,immobilized prey and crawling inside through the belly slash to dine slowly.

  21. stegodon says:

    I know these things are supposedly really fast, but looking at that picture it’s hard to visualize. Looks more like Komodo saggin’ to me.

  22. Flashman says:

    There was something I read recently, probably in a print Guardian or Observer, in which the writer had observed over the course of hours a buffalo, trapped and immobilized in deep mud, being eaten alive by a group of Komodo dragons.
    So gruesome I can’t actually describe how they do so; just imagine where the weakest point of entry might be on a buffalo cow…

  23. vespabelle says:

    Surely his fall out of a tree was partly to blame.

  24. Daemon says:

    #13 – oh, please. bards are worthless. if you’re going to be a sneaky type, at least be a rogue so that we can get some use out of you.

  25. cinemajay says:

    @17, they look fast enough to me!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7CQInAXoqY

    Then again, when you infect your prey, speed isn’t an essential trait.

    Bonus: DRAGON VS. DRAGON!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOF4YPdYELg

  26. kossmikman says:

    @#16MDH

    Ha! I see what you did there.

  27. Phikus says:

    Can I be the monk?

  28. MrsBug says:

    @#17
    He’s a lowrider – he got his ride pimped.

  29. Phikus says:

    Think about it: These are the dinos that didn’t die off…

  30. Anonymous says:

    Umm, tastes like chicken…

  31. cinemajay says:

    @24, no birds are the dinos that didn’t die off. These are reptiles. Dinos are a different branch of the family tree.

  32. Darren Garrison says:

    They’re breeding an army:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29876165/

  33. Takuan says:

    “go around biting prey with infectious bites there is always a pool of dead prey for every one to eat.
    I’m sure there is a technical term for this “, certainly: “financial derivatives investment strategy”

  34. Shazar of Best Health says:

    Well if they can kill a buffalo.. .see the Life: Reptilians and Amphibians then they can kill a man! What patience – a three week wait.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The Komodo Dragon is a good example of island gigantism. There are heaps of large varanids around. The Perentie can get over 2 meters long, and Gould’s sand goannas cab get to nearly 2 m long as well. Given an island environment and enough time, I reckon either of these could attain Komodo proportions. They already have very similar behavior.

  36. Ned613 says:

    “I believe they call it credit-default swapping”

    No, that would be opportunistic feeding.

  37. Takuan says:

    oh pshaw, now I see MDH beat me to it (again)

  38. Antinous / Moderator says:

    The coolest thing about Komodo dragons is that their mouths are so infectious that bites start to fester within minutes. The stench of rotting flesh helps them track you down if you escape. I bet that Sauron kept one as a pet.

  39. Phikus says:

    Cinemajay@25: Yes, birds evolved from the dinos that didn’t die off, but some of the reptiles also survived to evolve into other reptiles (or stay pretty much the same, as in the case of crocodilians and large iguana types.) My point was that some animals have stayed relatively the same for millions of years because they were pretty well adapted (at least until recently) so BEST NOT TO FUCK WITH THEM! ;D

  40. cabbotage says:

    Well, if no one else has mentioned it, I’ll go ahead and post a link to the classic Bob & Ray Komodo Dragon sketch (it starts about 30 seconds in).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI2Xc1OieoU

  41. Troglodyte says:

    @#15

    No one wants to hear about the lizard story again, Corporal!

    Cryptonomicon is my favorite book, ever.

  42. Darwindr says:

    The best book ever featuring Komodo dragons (and tons of other cool endangered animals)is by Douglas Adams and is called “Last Chance To See”. If you only know D.N.A. from his Hitchhikers series, you should totally check this book out!

  43. Sean Eric FAgan says:

    Actually, there seems to be some research indicating that the lizards have actual venom. This is pretty cool, biologically-speaking. (This doesn’t mean they don’t have dirty mouths — most varanids are carrion-eaters, and tend not to brush or floss, so being bitten by one is a nasty, nasty thing.)

    This is the second story about a komodo-caused death that I’ve seen this week, which makes me think they’re both the same story. The first one indicated that the man was illegally trespassing on the island, and died of blood loss before getting to a hospital. This story seems to be quite different.

  44. Teller says:

    I recall the Blair Brothers covering that spectacularly foul predatory skill and others bizarre Indonesian stuff in Ring of Fire.

    http://www.truefilms.com/archives/2004/05/ring_of_fire_an_1.php

  45. Oren Beck says:

    Think of tossing them some Firestone:> I saw a Diorama style “wrecked Chicago” art exhibit with a Komodo or Gila looking critter lurking in the sandy rubble. This was in the Lincoln Park West area approx 1988/89 and even the memory gives me the creeps. I do wonder from that if Gila’s and Komodo’s would co-exist in such a setting if food levels kept them from fratricide. I’d suggest feeding AIG exec’s to that are exhibit but PETA would crucify us if we did. But there’s a sort of immortality in death by Dragon eh? The “Darwin” aspect seems unconfirmed though. Darwin By Dragon has a certain euphony to it..

  46. claud9999 says:

    #18: true, plus how long did it take for the guy to die? I am guessing he died a fair amount of time later (he at least made it to the clinic which may have been on another island even, not being up on Indonesian geography!)

    So to say that the komodo dragons mauled him to death is an overstatement–they mauled him to near death. But how near is the question, isn’t the biggest threat that of severe infection of the wounds caused?

  47. Takuan says:

    I’ll bet that in that climate the bite infection can kill you in three days, even with treatment.

  48. TroofSeeker says:

    >”…just imagine where the weakest point of entry might be on a buffalo cow…”

    In the back door?

  49. entheo says:

    Us modern people are missing out, the original colonists of the continent just to the south of Komodo, on the the Australian continent, also known as Meganesia or Sahul, had to face Megalania, with a length of up to 7 metres and a weight of up to 1,940 kilograms.

    http://www.lostkingdoms.com/facts/factsheet52.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalania
    and a couple of images.
    http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m168/coastwizard/Cryptozoology/Megalania/megalania.jpg
    http://elementy.ru/images/news/megalania_600.jpg

    and of course they would also have faced Marsupial Lion’s (Thylacoleo carnifex)
    http://www.blog.speculist.com/archives/000912.html
    and high speed land crocodiles Quinkana with a length also of 7 m.
    Makes the Komodo dragon look rather small I think.

  50. skatanic says:

    @Antinous No, the coolest thing about komodo dragons is that females can reproduce without a mate, also known as parthenogenesis. In every other species that has this ability (of which there are few) only females can be produced. Komodo dragons, however, can asexually produce fertile male offspring with which they can later mate, creating an entirely new breeding population from a single female.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      When they develop the funny habit of shedding their cells and replacing them with polarized silicon, I say we take off and nuke the Komodo Islands from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  51. bugmaker says:

    Hey, that’s a photo of a marine iguana!!

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