Komodo dragon has a bite weaker than a house catsApril 21st, 2008 - 1:16 pm ICT by admin
Washington, April 21 (ANI): A new study has determined that the Komodo dragon, which is the worlds largest living lizard, has a bite weaker than a house cats.
According to a report in National Geographic News, researchers from Australias University of New South Wales used computer models to analyze a Komodo specimen from the Australian Museum in Sydney to come up with their conclusion.
The Komodo dragon, a type of monitor lizard, can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) long and is native to the Indonesian islands that include Komodo and Flores.
Though known for killing prey much larger than itself, the Komodo relies on its razor-sharp teeth, strong neck muscles, and space frame skull to subdue its prey.
But after measuring the forces and composition of the lizards skull, the researchers found that its jaw is not designed for crushing.
The bite is really quite incredibly weak for such a big lizardless than you’d expect from the average house cat, said Stephen Wroe, an author of the study.
If a Komodo actually tried to crush prey with its jaws, like crocodiles do, it would break its own skull, he added.
According to Peter Harlow, a reptile specialist at Sydneys Taronga Zoo, the findings confirm what zoologists already know about Komodo dragon behavior.
We didnt expect that lizards would have big, crushing jaws, but no ones ever really studied it in detail, so its good that someones quantified it, he said.
You can use the same technology and apply that to animals that are no longer living, said the studys lead author, Karen Moreno, also from the University of New South Wales.
According to the researchers, despite its flimsy bite, the Komodo has other physical traits in its favor that make it an able predator.
Whats really interesting is that it has a lightweight skull and weak jaw, but it has optimized the way the skull structure and material is arranged, said Wroe.
The researchers are now working on analyzing the bite of the Komodos ancient relatives: dinosaurs such as the Allosaurus and Giganotosaurus. (ANI)
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Tags: australian museum, computer models, crocodiles, harlow, house cat, indonesian islands, jaws, komodo dragon, lizards, monitor lizard, national geographic news, neck muscles, new south wales, physical traits, sharp teeth, skull structure, space frame, taronga zoo, university of new south wales, wroe