Lizards are a large group of reptiles with more than 5,600 species that can be found throughout most of the world (apart from the oceans, some small islands, the Arctic and Antarctic). The typical appearance of a lizard is generally considered to be a long body and tail, four legs and skin that it usually rough and/or scaly. However, lizards come in many shapes, colors and sizes, although the average size of these animals is about 15-30 cm (6-12 in). Let’s find out which species of lizards is the largest in the world.
What is the largest species of lizard in the world?
The largest species of lizard in the world is the Komodo Dragon. This lizard can reach an impressive 3 m (10 ft) with a weight in excess of 150 kg (330 lb). They are only found on five Indonesian islands (Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Padar) and their enormous size has been credited to the fact that these islands have no other carnivorous (meat eating) animals. To achieve their impressive size they also have an impressive appetite. They are capable of catching and eating very large prey such as deer, goats and pigs. They also eat considerable amounts of meat from dead or dying animals. They bite large chunks and swallow them whole, with the help of large amounts of saliva produced by the animal. They are capable of eating up to 80% of their own body weight in a single meal. However, their digestion is very slow and a large dragon may only require a single meal each month!
Did you know?
The Komodo dragon is listed as a threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are about 5,000 dragons left in the wild and conservation efforts are underway to ensure the survival of this species.