Komodo islands history - Indonesia

Komodo Island is an island located in the Nusa Tenggara islands. Komodo Island is known as a habitat for native animals dragons. The island is also the Komodo National Park which is managed by the Central Government. Komodo Island in the eastern island of Sumbawa, separated by Sape Strait.

Location :
Komodo National Park is located in the subdistrict of Komodo, West Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. Komodo Island is the most western tip of East Nusa Tenggara province, bordering the province of West Nusa Tenggara.

Komodo Island is identified by WWF and Conservation International as a global conservation priority. The park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores on the border of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and West Nusa Tenggara (NTP) includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous small islands of land of 603 km2. The total size of Komodo National Park is 1817 km2. Proposed extension of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2321 km2

About Komodo :
Komodo, or the more called Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) is the world's largest lizard species that live on the island of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Gili Dasami in Nusa Tenggara. This lizard by the natives of Komodo island is also called by local names ora.

Including family members Varanidae lizards, and klad Toxicofera, dragons are the largest lizards in the world, with an average length of 2-3 m. Large size is associated with symptoms of island gigantism, the tendency for body meraksasanya certain animals that live on a small island linked to the absence of carnivorous mammals in the island where dragons live, and the rate of metabolism of small dragons. Because of her size, these lizards occupy the position of a top predator that dominate the ecosystems in which they live.

Komodo dragons are found by western researchers in 1910. He was a great and terrible reputation that makes them popular in zoos. Dragons in the wild habitat has been shrinking due to human activity and therefore incorporate dragons IUCN as a species vulnerable to extinction. This large lizard is now protected under Indonesian law and a national park, the Komodo National Park, established to protect them.

Anatomy and Morphology :
In the wild, adult Komodo dragon usually has a mass of about 70 kilograms, but the dragons kept in captivity often have a greater body weight. Wild specimens have the largest ever of 3:13 meters long and weighing about 166 kilograms, including the weight of undigested food in his stomach. Although listed as the largest lizard the Komodo dragon is still alive, but not the longest. This reputation is held by Papuan lizard (Varanus salvadorii). Komodo has the same tail length with his body, and around 60 sharp teeth are serrated along approximately 2.5 cm, which is often replaced. Komodo dragon saliva is often mixed with a little blood because her teeth almost completely covered by gingival tissue and the tissue was torn during the meal. This condition creates an ideal environment for the growth of deadly bacteria that live in their mouths. Komodo has a long tongue, yellow and forked. Komodo dragons males larger than females, with a skin color from dark gray to red brick, while the female is more colorful dragons green olives, and has a small piece of yellow on the throat. Young Komodo dragons more colorful, yellow, green and white on a black background. 

Physiology :
Komodo does not have the sense of hearing, despite having the ear hole. This lizard is able to see as far as 300 m, but because the retina has only cone cells, these animals do not seem so good to see in the darkness of night. Komodo is able to distinguish colors, but not much able to distinguish objects that do not move. Komodo uses his tongue to detect taste and smell stimuli, like other reptiles, the vomeronasal sensory organs utilizing Jacobson, an ability that can help navigate in the dark. With the help of the wind and the habit of tilting his head to the right and to the left when walking, dragons can detect the presence of carrion as far as 4-9.5 kilometers. Dragons nostrils olfaction is not a good tool because they do not have the midriff. These animals have no sense of taste on the tongue, there are few nerve endings of taste in the back of the throat. 

Komodo dragon scales, some of which are reinforced with bone, has a sensor that is connected to nerves that facilitate excitatory touch. Scales around the ears, lips, chin, and soles of the feet have three or more sensor stimulation. 

Komodo dragons were once considered deaf when studies find that whispers, voices rising and shouting did not result in agitation (interference) in the wild dragons. This was refuted later when employees ZSL London Zoo, Joan Proctor trained lizards to eat out with his voice, even when he is not seen by the lizards. 

Ecology, Behaviour and Lifestyle :
Komodo dragons are naturally found only in Indonesia, on the island of Komodo, Rinca and Flores and several other islands in Nusa Tenggara. Living in open dry grasslands, savannas and tropical forests at low altitude, this lizard loves hot and dry place. They are active during the day, although sometimes also active at night. Komodo is a solitary animal, gathered together only at meals and breed. These large reptiles can run fast up to 20 kilometers per hour at short distances; swim very well and can dive as deep as 4.5 meters; and clever climb trees using their powerful claws. To catch prey that are beyond its reach, the Komodo dragon may stand on its hind legs and uses its tail as a support. With increasing age, more dragons to use his claws as weapons, because of his large size made it difficult to climb trees. 

For shelter, dragons dig holes 1-3 meters wide with the front legs and strong claws. Because of her size and habit of sleeping in a hole, the Komodo dragon can maintain body heat during the night and reduce the time sunbathing on the next morning. Komodo generally hunt in the afternoon to evening, but still take shelter during the hottest part of the day.
These places hidden dragons are usually located in the dunes or hills with the sea breeze, is open from vegetation, and here and there Scattered dung inhabitants. This place is generally also a strategic location to ambush deer. 

Eating Behavior :
Komodo dragons are carnivores. Although they eat mostly carrion, studies show that they also hunt live prey by sneaking followed by a sudden attack against the victim. When prey arrives near a hidden dragons, animals are immediately attacked him on the bottom side of the body or throat. Komodo can find their prey using a keen sense of smell, which can be found dead or dying animals at a distance of up to 9.5 kilometers.

History :

Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and declared a World Heritage Site and Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. Park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), first discovered by the scientific world in 1911 by JKH Van Steyn. Since then conservation goals have expanded to protect the entire biodiversity, both marine and terrestrial.

The majority of people in and around the park is a fisherman from Bima (Sumbawa), Manggarai, South Flores and South Sulawesi. They are from South Sulawesi from Bajau tribe or ethnic group Bugis. The Bajau tribe originally nomadic and moved from location to location in the area of ​​Sulawesi, and Maluku Nusa Tenggara, to make their livelihood. Descendants of the original people of Komodo, the Ata Modo, still live in Komodo, but there are no pure blood people left and their culture and language gradually integrated with the newcomers.

Little is known about the early history of the island of Komodo. They are the subjects of the Sultanate of Bima, although the island remoteness from Bima meant affairs of the company is probably a little disturbed by the Sultanate other than by occasional demand for tribute.


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