Enclosure status
Population in the wild
IUCN status
Scientific name
Varanus komodoensis
Arid forest and savannah

Komodo dragon facts

Komodo dragons are the world’s largest and heaviest lizards. Komodo dragon babies live in trees until the age of 4 years old to avoid coming into conflict with larger adult dragons. Juveniles are more colourful starting off life as with red and yellow bands, whilst adults have grey brownish scales that provide camouflage in their surroundings. The adult female Komodo dragon can reproduce without ever having mated with a male, which is known as parthenogenesis. 

Komodo dragons have sharp serrated teeth and powerful limbs able to propel them in quick bursts of up to 11 miles per hour. If the dragon’s prey escapes after being bitten, deadly infections from the bacteria living in the dragon's razor sharp teeth kill the victim within a week. The dragon can use it's long tongue to track it's prey from up to 5km away - and can eat up to 80% of its body weight in just one feeding. Komodo dragons have bowed legs, a large muscular tail, rounded snout and forked yellow tongue.

What do Komodo dragons eat?

Live prey and carrion including reptiles, birds, eggs, mammals, baby dragons and even occasional people.

Komodo dragons fighting in Indonesia
Komodo dragon at London zoo close up

Where are Komodo dragons from?

Found mainly on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rintja, Padar, and Flores. 

Komodo dragon threats

Limited habitat and illegal hunting for trophies, skins and feet. We contribute towards the Komodo survival programme which is working to determine the range of the species in Indonesia, and better understand Komodo dragon ecology and engage with the local community.

Reptiles and amphibians at the Zoo

  • King cobra
    The ultimate reptile collection

    Reptile House

    From king cobras to Philippine crocodiles and Chinese Giant salamanders, we have something for every reptile and amphibian lover.

  • A Chinese giant salamander at London Zoo
    The world's largest amphibian

    Chinese giant salamander

    Chinese giant salamanders are the world's biggest amphibian, at full size they are around the size of a fully grown man at 1.8m in length.  

  • Female Lake Oku frog
    Xenopus longipes

    Lake Oku clawed frog

    Lake Oku frogs are only found in one tiny lake in Cameroon, and we were the first to ever successfully breed this critically endangered species.

  • Two Galapagos tortoises at London Zoo
    Chelonoidis sp.

    Galapagos tortoise

    With a lifespan of 177 years old, some Galapagos tortoises alive today would have around since before the American civil war. 

  • Philippine Crocodile at London Zoo
    Crocodylus mindorensis

    Philippine crocodile

    There are one only around 120 left in the wild, but we are working to recover Philippine crocodiles at the Zoo and in the field.

  • Our animals