Video posted to YouTube by National Geographic.
Gypsy photograph courtesy of Karen Fayeth.
This video was filmed several years ago, so these babies are not babies anymore. Kimodos grow to be 6.6 – 9.8 feet and can weigh as much as 150 pounds. So these are quite large as lizards go. Their size is thought to be due to island gigantism, a phenomenon in which the size of animals isolated on an island increases dramatically by comparison to their mainland kin. Since there are little or no large carnivorous mammals on islands, which don’t offer enough range for them, their ecological niche may be assumed by birds or reptiles.
Kimodo bites are deadly. Their saliva has a particularly virulent septic pathogen.
The conservation status of these lizards is “vulnerable.”
Public domain photograph of Markofjohnson.