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Tooth-venom arsenal key to Komodo Dragon’s hunting strategy

The efficiency of the Komodo Dragon bite is a combination of highly specialised serrated teeth and venom, say researchers from the University of Melbourne. The study contests the previously accepted theory that prey die from septicemia caused by toxic bacteria living in the dragon’s mouth.

Using medical imaging techniques, an international team has revealed that the Komodo Dragon has the most complex venom glands yet described for any reptile, and that its close extinct relative Megalania was the largest venomous animal to have lived.

The dragon is thought to be able to weaken and immobilise their prey with a venomous bite that increases the damage done by their long serrated teeth.

The work will be published in the next issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more at Melbourne University

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