Komodo dragon is new to Knoxville Zoo

5:21 PM, Feb 28, 2012   |    comments
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There's a new animal at the Knoxville Zoo you've never seen here.

It's an especially appropriate addition because this is the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac, and the new animal is a Komodo dragon.

According to National Geographic, Komodo dragons reach 10 feet in length and more than 300 pounds, making them the heaviest lizards on Earth. They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails.

They will eat almost anything, including carrion, deer, pigs, smaller dragons, and even large water buffalo and humans. When hunting, Komodo dragons rely on camouflage and patience, lying in wait for passing prey.

Animals that escape the jaws of a Komodo will only feel lucky briefly. Dragon saliva teems with over 50 strains of bacteria, and within 24 hours, the stricken creature usually dies of blood poisoning.

The Komodo Dragon is expected to be on display at the Knoxville Zoo in mid-March.

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