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Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arsenal

Discussion in 'The Library' started by Rich, May 18, 2009.

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  1. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The effectiveness of the Komodo dragon bite is a combination of highly specialized serrated teeth and venom, a new study shows. The authors also dismiss the widely accepted theory that prey die from septicemia caused by toxic bacteria living in the dragon's mouth.

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    Use this thread to discuss the article above. What are your thoughts about Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arsenal Key To Hunting Strategy?
     
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    Varanids, Gila monsters, Iguanas/Agamas/Snakes are all closely related, in fact the closest living relatives of snakes are the iguanas/agamas, monitors have the poison gland in the bottom jaw, which is a very derived( advanced) condition, iguanas/agamas have the more "primitive" glands in both upper and lower jaws....snakes have the venom gland in the upper jaw. The venom in varanids, and Iguanians is quite weak in comparison with some snake species, and in these animals would NOT be a threat to ourselves..( But Gila monsters CAN be very dangerous; in some cases, deadly!) There have been claims over the years that the monitor bite was thought to be poisonous, but until the article by Bryan Greig Fry, et.al. it hadn`t been proven, and also, the Iguanas were always thought to be very distantly related to the aforementioned families (snakes varanids and heloderms!) So even the friendly and extremely commonly kept green iguanas and dragon lizards are venomous!! (But again, nothing for anyone to worry about!)
    Stefan
     
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    Interesting. I have read an article about even bearded dragons having venom, of the same type (though much weaker) as rattlesnakes.

    Most people make the association that venom=deadly, which isn't always the case, which is probably why so many of these venomous creatures were dismissed initially. I just hope no idiot gets retarded about this and tries to impose laws on monitors and bearded dragons simply because they are venomous, no matter how weak the venom may be.
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    It wouldn`t surprise me if someone DID try to have these animals put under the "Dangerous Wild Animal" act ( That`s in the U.K.) But as I said, they are definitely NOT dangerous to large animals....( With the exception of V. komodoensis and the heloderms...) "Domestic" dogs are a much more dangerous animal than any iguana/agama or monitor which is commonly kept by the amateur hobbyist! And I hope the people who keep these species don`t get put off, the worst that can happen if you get bitten by bearded or water dragons is a nasty bite, but no long term or serious injuries. Iguanas and large monitors can give serious wounds, because of their size, but most owners are aware of the risks. ( I hope!).
    P.S. The original article by Bryan Geig Fry et.al. : " Early Evolution of the venom system in lizards and snakes" was a real surprise, not only because of the venom system, but because it also proved that this characteristic linked the snakes with not only varanids and heloderms, but the iguanians which nobody had thought were related to the others.
     
  5. myo

    myo Well-Known Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    I wouldn't say they are deadlier than man thought. I mean, people knew a bite from a komodo could kill you before they were thought to be venomous. as for monitors being DWA licesnsed, the komodo would be the only one that truly warrants licensing... but there aren't enough of them about for the government to be worried enogh to do soomething about it.
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    The komodo monitor is not available to private hobbyists ( at least not here in the U.K.) so the need to license owners isn`t needed anyway!
    As far as the venom system as a hunting strategy, it just gives the monitors in general another means of catching and bringing down a wider variety of prey, with less chance of prey escaping from these extremely sophisticated animals. Komodoensis at times takes very large prey animals up to the size of water buffalo, so once bitten the venom together with the septic bite gives the monitor the opportunity to successfully prey on an animal which can be 10 times it`s own size/weight!
     
  7. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    What happened to the previous studies and research data about the bacteria concoction in the Komodo's mouth? Are they just going to totally dismiss this as prior speculation, unproven theory, misread study results, or could it be that the combination of the venom, bite, and bacteria colonies all contribute to the prey's demise?
     
  8. Reptoid

    Reptoid Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    It wouldn't surprise me if it was a combination of all three.

    Also this news is old. I read about this in the December 2008 issue of Reptiles Magazine.
     
  9. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    Stefan, Komodos are not available over here privately either. Only to Zoos.
     
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    Hi W.G.Nelson, yes it`s a combination of the venom+septic bite so there`s really not too much chance of recovery....
    Hi Reptoid, it`s strange you saw this piece in the December issue of "Reptile" magazine, because the article by Dr. Greig Fry was still under review at the end of december 2008, (pers.comm.) from Bryan Greig Fry, maybe you saw a similar piece?
     
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    Stefan he is correct. In that issue of Reptiles there was an article on Dr Fry and listed some of his discoveries. The presence of venom in Komodos was one listed.
     
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    Thanks Merlin, but the actual article that Bryan wrote had definitely not been published at that time, so I wonder if what you and "Reptoid" are talking about is an article about his discovery, rather than the actual piece? ( I still have his email message to me.)
     
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    The article is a quick piece on his carrer and it does simply list the presence of venom in komodos as one of his discoveries.
     
  14. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    Yes, I wondered how the actual article had appeared in a magazine before it had even been published!! ;)
     
  15. Reptoid

    Reptoid Elite Member

    Re: Komodo Dragons Even More Deadly Than Thought: Combined Tooth-venom Arse

    Yah, I'm looking at my December 2008 issue of Reptiles Magazine and in the "Who's Who in Reptiles" there is an article about Bryan Grieg Fry and his research in venom, and sure enough, under a list of his discoveries it says "The bite of the Komodo dragon contains venom, not toxic bacteria."
     
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