Enclosure status
Open
Population in the wild
1400
IUCN status
Endangered
Latin name
Varanus komodoensis
Order
Squamata
Type
Reptiles
Family
Varanidae
Region
Indonesia
Habitat
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
© Shutterstock
Komodo dragon at London zoo close up
David Attenborough opening our Komodo dragon house.

Where are Komodo dragons from?

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

Training Komodo dragons

Watch our Zookeepers training our amazing Komodo dragons at the Zoo and find out from keeper Luke how this training helps us look after them.

Komodo dragon threats

Limited habitat and illegal hunting for trophies, skins and feet.

Komodo dragons at London Zoo

David Attenborough at Komodo Dragon house at London Zoo
Our formidable Komodo dragon

Meet Ganas

Home to the largest reptile in world, which David Attenborough opened for us in 2004.

Reptiles and amphibians at the Zoo

  • Dougie Poynter meets Komodo dragon on meet the animal experience
    Perfect gift for reptile lovers

    The Komodo dragon experience

    Ever wondered what it's like to work with a fierce Komodo dragon day to day? Now's your chance to step into a keeper’s shoes and head behind-the-scenes for a truly unique experience for reptile lovers.

  • 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.

  • Chinese giant salamander being held during a health check 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

    Galapagos tortoises

    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