Indonesia is known as an archipelago comprising approximately 17.508 islands which are scattered from the east longitude to the west longitude right in the middle of the equator. Every island has its own attractions and uniqueness which makes it different from another. One of the must visit islands is the National Park of Komodo Island located in the East Nusa Tenggara and pretty easy to reach from Bali.
Why so? What makes this island so unique that it has become one of the selected New Seven Wonders?
On this Komodo Island you may see a place where an ancient creature lives called Komodo (Dragon Komodo) or Ora like the indigenous called it. Komodo dragons have been living on the island for more than 60 million years. The discovery and study about this creature shows that Komodo dragon is distantly related to dinosaurs –Mosasaurus species– marine reptiles that became extinct almost 40 million years ago. In 1912, Peter A. Ouwens, Museum of Zoology director in Bogor, Indonesia, published a paper about the Komodo. In the report, he suggested the giant lizard to be named after “Varanus komodoensis” for Komodo, as a change for Komodo Dragon. The animal with the Latin name Mosasaurus komodoensis, is on the top position of food chain on Komodo Island. Komodo dragons are carnivores and known as the biggest poisonous lizard that ever lived in the world and ate by poisoning the prey with its poisonous saliva which contains deadly pathogen bacterias. It may live up to 50 years and usually weighs around 70 kg with length of the body around 2-3 meters. The largest specimen ever found in the wild was 3.13 meters long and weighed around 166 kg.
For its antiquity and also for its endangered situation, National Park of Komodo has been granted as World Heritage Site from the UNESCO in the 1986 and also has been elected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2011.
Did you know about this animal? Do you know other ancient animals that still exist nowadays?