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Miami MetroZoo (June 1, 2008) Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) The Komodo Dragon is the world's largest lizard species. It is found mainly on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rintja, Padar, and Flores. There are only an estimated 1,000 to 5,000 of these monitor lizards living today. Reaching lengths of up to 6.5 - 10 feet, and weighing up to 154 lbs., these reptiles are swift runners and climbers with great appetites for deer and wild boar. Their unusual size is attributed to island gigantism (a biological phenomenon where the size of animals isolated on an island increases dramatically over generations), since there are no other carnivorous animals to fill the niche on the islands where they live, and also to the Komodo dragon's low metabolic rate.

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