Lizards, carcasses and bacteria

Do Komodo dragons kill their prey by making them sick with the bacteria from their dirty mouths? Or do they kill with strength, speed and venom while bacteria are just incidental? Or is it bacteria who hitch a ride on the lizards on their journeys from one juicy carcass to the next?

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Definitely breaking new ground around here. A recent paper in PLoS ONE examines the hypotheses surrounding the ecology and evolution of Komodo Dragon saliva. For those of you whose Komodo Dragonology is a little bit rusty, the saliva of Komodo Dragons can lead to infections that weaken or even…
For the longest time, people believed that the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, killed its prey with a dirty mouth. Strands of rotting flesh trapped in its teeth harbour thriving colonies of bacteria and when the dragon bites an animal, these microbes flood into the wound and eventually…
[From the archives; originally posted November 22, 2005] Carl Zimmer has a post today about the work of Dr. Bryan Grieg Fry on the evolution of snake venom. If that name sounds familiar to those of you who aren't reptile specialists, you may have run across Dr. Fry's homepage, or you may have…
Two Komodo Dragons have been blamed for killing a man at Loh Sriaya, in eastern Indonesia's Komodo National Park. Police and witnesses say that 31 yr old fisherman Muhamad Anwar was attacked by the duet of immense lizards waiting below minutes after he fell out of a tree on Monday. He was…

Yes, yes, & yes.

The three functional scenarios presented are not mutually exclusive.

By darwinsdog (not verified) on 29 Jun 2010 #permalink