The Komodo Dragon exhibit at the Indy Zoo will pack up and take the dragons home on September 7, 2009, so put this on your list of “things to do in Indianapolis,” or you might just miss them.
What is a Komodo Dragon, you say? It’s the biggest lizard in the whole world. Dragons, in fantasy literature like The Hobbit, have always been portrayed as big lizards or even enormous worms. These reptiles are predators as ruthless as the fantasy dragons, though they inject venom with a bite, instead of spewing deadly fire on their victims.
The Indy Zoo’s Komodo Dragons came all the way from Central Indonesia to Central Indiana by way of the Denver Zoo, which is loaning them to Indy. They grow from about 6.5 feet to 10 feet long and weigh about 150 pounds on the average. They are carnivores who eat carrion and live meat, including, at times, each other.
The exhibit at the Indianapolis Zoo includes juvenile Komodo Dragons, who jump from tree to tree, as kids are wont to do. The adults are too heavy and slow to climb after them.
Fantastically ugly in a fascinating sort of way, the Komodo Dragon lives a mean life in the wild. They often hunt prey several times bigger than their own weight by ambushing from a hiding place and biting to inject venom. Then they wait for the prey to fall, sometimes days.
Komodo Dragons have forked tongues that can protrude more than a foot outside their mouths. And such mouths they have on them, evolved to expand large enough to take in a whole goat, but even so it takes 20-30 minutes to swallow.
Komodo Dragons, scary and even cannabalistic as they may be, still often mate for a lifetime, which can be up to 50 years.
The Indianapolis Zoo is a favorite attraction among the many great attractions in Indianapolis. It contains five separate areas designed specifically to be friendly to the plants and animals within them: the Forests Biome, the Oceans Biome, the Deserts Biome, the Plains Biome and the Encounters Biome, an interactive petting area. The Zoo also offers many fun attractions on its grounds, such as the Dolphin In-Water Adventure, the White River Junction Train Ride, the Carousel, and a Splash Park.
Take advantage of this unique exhibit, running only until September 7, 2009, Labor Day Weekend, during the most beautiful days of summer in the Circle City.
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