Now that’s a happy lizard!

Now that’s a happy lizard!

That’s a dragon all right.

That’s a dragon all right.

Would you like to dance?

Would you like to dance?

The Komodo Dragon- A Fantasy Beast Without the Wings

So I want to talk today about the largest (and probably the most interesting) lizard in the world, the Komodo Dragon. These impressive animals grow to an average length between 6 to 10 ft, which is bigger than I am. They live on islands off Indonesia and are very much respected for their fierce reputation. They are listed as vulnerable which has prompted Indonesia to protect them under law and set up a national park, called Komodo National Park, in order to protect some of their habitat. An interesting fact about these lizards is that they are one of the few animals that can undergo parthenogenesis (I believe the Hammerhead shark can do this as well). This is when the females can give birth without any help from the guys. It also happens that all the offspring come out as male, which is very beneficial for establishing a population if there is only one female (but it can also be very detrimental to the gene pool). It is pretty cool, but also makes me wonder how bad life would be if that were the common thing to do x_X.

Another interesting fact about these creatures lies in their saliva. It was long believed that Komodo Dragons carried a plethora of different bacteria around in their saliva. This would cause rapid infection from a bite and usually even led to death from the wound. This comes in very hand when Komodo Dragons hunt, since they usually inflict a wound on their prey and follow the animal for some time (even for days) until it dies. A recent discovery in 2009 showed that Komodo Dragons not only had bacteria in their mouths but they also had venom glands. This is leading researchers to believe that it actually isn’t the bacteria that is the cause of death, but instead the venom.

As you guys can see, these animals are exceptionally well adapted to their environment. From evolving venom glands to undergoing parthenogenesis, these creatures are extraordinary. You can read up a bit more on these dragons here: http://www.australiazoo.com.au/our-animals/amazing-animals/reptiles/?reptile=lizards&animal=komodo_dragon

Thanks for reading,

Danny

Fear not when, fear not why,
fear not much while were alive,
life is for living not living up tight
Forever Young- Jay Z
emilyhaueisen:

thecd:
This is Electra, a cat I was fostering. Pretty intense stare
Aww, this looks like my kitty Ben. I miss him. He’s my favorite.

Aw, yeah Electra was awesome. She took forever to get adopted so I got attached to her and her crazy antics.

emilyhaueisen:

thecd:

This is Electra, a cat I was fostering. Pretty intense stare

Aww, this looks like my kitty Ben. I miss him. He’s my favorite.

Aw, yeah Electra was awesome. She took forever to get adopted so I got attached to her and her crazy antics.

This is Electra, a cat I was fostering. Pretty intense stare

This is Electra, a cat I was fostering. Pretty intense stare

Dusty when he was a puppy, slapping another Australian Shepherd. Hhaha

Dusty when he was a puppy, slapping another Australian Shepherd. Hhaha

Money = Stress

Hey everyone, hope everything is going well with all my readers :) So I’m taking a break from a conservation story today, I guess I would feel better venting. Anyways, I payed my $250 deposit for my ISV Australia trip about a week ago and am super nervous. I really hope I get the money I need. My mom is barely even talking to me because of how mad she is. I mean, I kind of understand where she’s coming from since it is $5,600 and that’s a very scary number. But I already made it clear to her that I won’t ask for her money. Besides, I’m 19 so I’m pretty sure I can do things of my own accord now. It would be nice to have her support to make things easier but oh well. I haven’t even bothered telling my dad. That’s an even bigger lost cause. I emailed the Ellen show in hopes that she may sponsor me or make a donation or something. It would be such a huge burden off my shoulders, so cross your fingers everyone! :P I also emailed a bunch of other clubs and foundations but so far only two have gotten back to me with bad news. I’m going to start writing letters when ISV sends me their letterhead and the date I leave to Australia. It’s bittersweet really. I’m excited and nervous about the money at the same time.

Oh well, everything works out in the end.

Danny