Indian Ocean Travel by TOURISMER

National Park Komodo

These volcanic islands are inhabited by a population of around 5,700 giant lizards, whose appearance and aggressive behavior have earned them the nickname “Komodo dragons”.

They are found nowhere else and are of great scientific interest for the study of evolution. The rocky hills covered with a dry savanna dotted with thorn trees make an extraordinary contrast with the beaches of dazzling white sand and the blue waves breaking on the corals.

Komodo dragons

These giant lizards, the largest on the planet, are found only in this region of the world. Reaching a size of 3 meters or more and weighing more than 150 kg, these big beasts number about 2700 on the whole island of Komodo. Komodo dragons are cold-blooded reptiles and live up to 50 years.

Discovery dragons

Komodo dragons have always been known by the inhabitants of the islands. The existence of the Komodo Dragon was reported for the first time at the beginning of the 20th century by two Dutch pearl fishermen, Mr. Kock and Mr. Aldegon who, during a trip to Indonesia, would have come face to face with this “monster”. For Europeans, the surprise was total but the natives taught the fishermen that the animal they had encountered was called “ora” in the local language and that it was so ferocious that it could strike down an ox and even s attack a human. In 1910, other fishermen transmitted disturbing words to the governor of the region, Lieutenant Van Steyn Hensbroek of the Dutch colonial administration, who reported rumors of the existence of a land crocodile in the region37. Knowledge became widespread after 1912, when Pieter Ouwens, the director of the zoological museum in Bogor on the island of Java, published an article on the subject after receiving from the lieutenant a photo and a skin, as well as two other specimens from of a collector.

Subsequently, the discovery of the Komodo Dragon was the determining factor in the organization of an expedition to Komodo Island by W. Douglas Burden in 1926. He returned with twelve preserved specimens and two living animals. This expedition was the source of the inspiration for the film King Kong in 193338. Burden was also the source of the common name “Komodo Dragon”. Three of these specimens were stuffed and are still visible in the American Museum of Natural History39.

 

 
 
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Indonesia :National Park Komodo