Poin Penting

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Komodo dragon

The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a venomous species of lizard that inhabits the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang in Indonesia.[3] A member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2 to 3 metres (6.6 to 9.8 ft) and weighing around 70 kilograms (150 lb). Their unusual size is attributed to island gigantism, since there are no other carnivorous animals to fill the niche on the islands where they live, and also to the Komodo dragon's low metabolic rate.[4][5] As a result of their size, these lizards dominate the ecosystems in which they live.[6] Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carrion, they will also hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals.

Mating begins between May and August, and the eggs are laid in September. About twenty eggs are deposited in abandoned megapode nests and incubated for seven to eight months, hatching in April, when insects are most plentiful. Young Komodo dragons are vulnerable and therefore dwell in trees, safe from predators and cannibalistic adults. They take around three to five years to mature, and may live as long as fifty years. They are among the rare vertebrates capable of parthenogenesis, in which females may lay viable eggs if males are absent.[7]

Komodo dragons were discovered by Western scientists in 1910. Their large size and fearsome reputation make them popular zoo exhibits. In the wild their range has contracted due to human activities and they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. They are protected under Indonesian law, and a national park, Komodo National Park, was founded to aid protection efforts.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komodo_dragon

Monday, August 3, 2009

Komodo ( land crocodile )

as befits any creature evoking a mythological beast, has many names. It is also the Komodo monitor, being a member of the monitor lizard family, Varanidae, which today has one genus, Varanus. Residents of the island of Komodo call it the ora. Among some on Komodo and the islands of Rinca and Flores, it is buaya darat (land crocodile), a name that is descriptive but inaccurate; monitors are not crocodilians.

Others call it biawak raksasa (giant monitor), which is quite correct; it ranks as the largest of the monitor lizards, a necessary logical consequence of its standing as the largest lizard of any kind now living on the earth…. Within the scientific community, the dragon is Varanus komodoensis. And most everyone calls it simply the Komodo.” Claudio Ciofi
The Komodo dragon is an ancient species whose ancestors date back over 100 million years. The varanid genus originated between 25 and 40 million years ago in Asia. The Komodo descended from this species and evolved to its present form over four million years ago.( More info )

KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
LOCATION :
Komodo National Park lies in the Wallacea Region of Indonesia, identified by WWF and Conservation International as a global conservation priority area. The Park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores at the border of the Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTP) provinces. It includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totaling 603 km2 of land. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2,321 km2

HISTORY :
Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. The park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), first discovered by the scientific world in 1911 by J.K.H. Van Steyn. Since then conservation goals have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both marine and terrestrial. ( More Inf o )

Source : http://www.komodoisland-tours.com/

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Komodo, Dragons and Jurassic Gyroscopes

By Kevin Alexandra

Diving and Liveaboard in Komodo is different underwater adventure. You will find Jurassic world, the lost world you can found. Before diving and liveaboards, you must know Komodo biological riches.

Diving Komodo is like stepping on a Jurassic gyroscope - tilting and spinning at uncontrollable speeds. There are time when guest have been perched in a 2-knot current, holding on for dear life, mouth pieces vibrating, watching a halimeda ghost pipe fish while their buddy gesticulates wildly, trying to gain their attention to point out a hovering manta ray. Dives like this are common - it is hard to know where to look and what to focus on. Welcome to Komodo.

Komodo as well as the other islands between Sumbawa and Flores, belongs to another time and place. Rugged, dry, covered in scrub and borassus palms, it is just few degrees south of the equator, and represents an arid anomaly in the lushness of the monsoon-feed island of the Indonesia archipelago. But it is perfect habitat for one of world's most awesome animals - the Komodo Dragons.

Biological Riches

The wild Komodo area offers just about every imaginable type of diving, from current swept sea mounds patrolled by groups of sharks, tuna and other big fish to plunging walls, covered in impressive corals, to calm reefs alive with invertebrates and hundreds of colorful reef fishes. The water temperature varies from chilly 22C to 30C bath water. Visibility ranges from a clear 25-30 meters to a dismal 3 meters, when clouds of tiny fish and plankton allow only macro photography.

The variety of marine life in the Komodo area rivals the world's best. There are deep seas both north and south of the narrow straits running between the little islands and strong currents and upwelling bring nutrients and plankton, keeping all the marine creatures well-fed.

While the Komodo areas well explored, due to it is vastness there are new dive site discovered every year. In general, there are two habitats and two seasons for Diving Komodo - the winter for the cooler , temperate water southern sites and the summer for the warmer, tropical north. The main factor in enjoying diving Komodo is visibility and the north is more predictable in this regards.

Komodo is unique region because it offers divers to choice of both tropical and temperate diving within the scant space of 10 kilometers. The volcanic thrusts and limestone uplifts combined with half-meter differential between the south China.

DivingSeaSafari.Com offer scuba diving adventure, liveaboard in luxury Pinisi Cruises. Sea Safari Scuba Diving are explore Indonesia archipelago, like Raja Ampat in Papua, Komodo "Dragon" Island, Derawan, Alor, Ambon and Nusa Tenggara.

More Articles on: Bali, Komodo Indonesia Diving Liveaboard.

I'm 28 years old, webmaster in cruises company and manage http://www.divingseasafari.com and http://www.seasafaricruises.com I live in Bali, the paradise island in Indonesia. Your traveling will not be complete before you go to Bali and Indonesia archipelago. Explore all in my sites.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kevin_Alexandra

Friday, August 22, 2008

Traveling to Comodo Island

How to reach Comodo of Dragon? From Lombok or the Gilis, you can get a 3/4 day boat trip costing around 250 000 rupiahs which isn't much (13000 to the £ when I was there) and they'll take you in a wooden boat of about 15m in length to Flores stopping off at numerous reefs to scuba as well as Komodo and Rinca where the dragons live. The reef off Komodo is spectacularly colourful and the fish is abundant but be wary of the current. I would also suggest you take your own snorkel gear though they are supplied and quality can be dubious.

Excellent fun though check the boat and make sure you have agreement on the food and water as they will skimp if you do not keep an eye out and you will become very familiar with noodles and rice. The fee also includes travel back to Lombok via the ferry and buses. It is worth looking around Flores as there is Kelimuti, the 3 coloured volcanic lakes.

Source : fixtures4all.com/comodo-island.html

Thursday, August 21, 2008

About Komodo National Park

LOCATION : Komodo National Park lies in the Wallacea Region of Indonesia, identified by WWF and Conservation International as a global conservation priority area. The Park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores at the border of the Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTP) provinces. It includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totaling 603 km2 of land. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2,321 km2. (Click on the map to enlarge - 70kB)


HISTORY :
Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. The park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), first discovered by the scientific world in 1911 by J.K.H. Van Steyn. Since then conservation goals have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both marine and terrestrial.

The majority of the people in and around the Park are fishermen originally from Bima (Sumbawa), Manggarai, South Flores, and South Sulawesi. Those from South Sulawesi are from the Suku Bajau or Bugis ethnic groups. The Suku Bajau were originally nomadic and moved from location to location in the region of Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and Maluku, to make their livelihoods. Descendents of the original people of Komodo, the Ata Modo, still live in Komodo, but there are no pure blood people left and their culture and language is slowly being integrated with the recent migrants.

Little is known of the early history of the Komodo islanders. They were subjects of the Sultanate of Bima, although the island’s remoteness from Bima meant its affairs were probably little troubled by the Sultanate other than by occasional demand for tribute.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

How to reach Komodo Island

Komodo the last dragon on earth, wildlife, marine life, white sandy beach, sea cruise, snorkeling & diving, trekking.

ACCESS/ENTRY POINT:

* BIMA (on Sumbawa Island). Bima is accesible by one hour flight from BALI.

* LABUAN BAJO (on Flores Island), accesible by flight from Bali.

DURATION: 3 - 4 Days.
BEST SEASON: April - November (dry season, the sea is normally calm during this time of year).
GROUP SIZE: Min: 02 Person / Max: 10 Persons.
DEPENDENCIES:

Sea weather during the peak of rain season especially between January - February is dangerous to sail to Komodo Island.

This is one of the highlights of Indonesia travel tour. Encounter the world's largest lizards, the Komodo Dragons (Varanus Komodoensis), considered the last of their kind remaining in the world today. Its ancestors roamed the earth up to about half a million years ago. Nowadays the dragons estimated at 5,000 - 7,000 inhabited the islands of Komodo, Rinca and other tiny surrounding islands, and on the westernmost part of Flores Island in Indonesia.

To reach the islands we will board on a fisherman wooden boat which have been modified to enable and suitable for carrying tourist, equipped by Radio Navigation, Electricity, Toilet, One big cabin which has 6-8 beds, Life jackets and Mattress. and cruising to Komodo and Rinca Islands, the home of the Last Dragons on Earth, belong to Komodo National Park system designed to protect and preserve the endangered Komodo Dragon.

Along with the national park's rangers we will silently explore the islands on foot for the encounters with the dragons. The dragons are large, ferocious predators that are fully capable of killing and eating a human being and capable of running as fast as a dog! But don't worry, the rangers are experiences and know well how to deal with dragons which can reach a length of 3 meters (about 10 feet).

Besides the dragons, you can also experience Indonesia wildlife tour on Rinca Island by trekking through the island to observe the other wild animals such as deer, horses, birds etc, in their wild life.

We will spend an adventurous nights on the boat. In the morning or afternoon you can snorkeling and diving around Komodo, some of the best in the world, especially for seeing soft corals. Some of the beaches nearby have beautiful pink sand, tinted by fragments of red coral mixed in with other shell and coral fragments. This is a complete set of adventure in Indonesia.

To reach the islands, firstly you just need to take an about 2 hours from Bali and landing at both Bima or Labuan Bajo Airstrips where you can take the boat to reach the islands of the dragons. Complicated? No. You will find all of these are well arranged in our tour packages.

◊ 3 DAYS KOMODO DRAGON ADVENTURE (VIA BIMA)
◊ 4 DAYS KOMODO DRAGON ADVENTURE (VIA BIMA)
◊ 3 DAYS KOMODO DRAGON ADVENTURE (VIA LABUAN BAJO)
◊ 4 DAYS KOMODO DRAGON ADVENTURE (VIA LABUAN BAJO)

3 DAYS KOMODO TOUR (VIA BIMA) Grade: Easy Start/End: Bima Airport

DAY 01: BALI - BIMA (SUMBAWA ISLAND) - KOMODO ISLAND

On arrival in Bima met and transferred to Sape Harbor and cruise to Komodo island on a wooden vessel, a local boat which have been modified to enable and suitable for carrying tourist. Equipped by radio navigation, electricity, and toilet, one big cabin that has-6 - 12beds, life jacket and mattress. Late afternoon arrive at Komodo Island. Accommodation on the boat (L,D).

DAY 02: KOMODO ISLAND - SAPE - BIMA

Boarding down the boat and proceed trekking to meet and observe the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. Swim and snorkeling at the white sandy beach and coral life at the island nearby. Back to Sape and drive to Bima. Overnight at hotel in Bima (B,L,D).

DAY 03: BIMA - BALI

Transfer to the Airport for your flight back to Bali or to next destination (B).

4 DAYS KOMODO TOUR (VIA BIMA) Grade: Easy Start/End: Bima Airport

DAY 01: BALI - BIMA (SUMBAWA ISLAND) - KOMODO ISLAND

On arrival in Bima met and transferred to Sape Harbor and cruise to Komodo island on a wooden vessel, a local boat which have been modified to enable and suitable for carrying tourist. Equipped by radio navigation, electricity, and toilet, one big cabin that has-6 - 12beds, life jacket and mattress. Late afternoon arrive at Komodo Island. Boarding down the boat and proceed trekking to meet and observe the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. Overnight on boat (B,L,D)

DAY 02: KOMODO ISLAND - RINCA ISLAND

Second visit to Komodo Island. Proceed cruise to Rinca another island inhabited by the Komodo. Trekking on the island to observe the Komodo dragons and other wildlife such as deer, horses, bird etc. in their wild life. Return to the boat for overnight (B,L,D).

DAY 03: RINCA - BIMA

Swim or snorkel on clean and white sandy beach. Boating back to Sape and proceed drive to bima. Overnight at a small hotel in Bima (B,L,D).

DAY 04: BIMA - BALI

Transfer to the Airport for your flight back to Bali or to next destination (B).

Back to Top

3 DAYS KOMODO TOUR (VIA LABUAN BAJO) Grade: Easy Start/End: Labuan Bajo Airport

DAY 01: BALI - LABUAN BAJO (FLORES ISLAND)

On arrival in Labuan Bajo by flight from Bali, met and transferred to a small hotel for your accommodation (L,D).

DAY 02: LABUAN BAJO - KOMODO DAY TRIP - LABUAN BAJO

Boarding down the boat and proceed trekking to meet and observe the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. Swim and snorkeling at the white sandy beach and coral life at the island nearby. Cruise back to Labuan Bajo. Overnight at hotel (B,L,D).

DAY 03: LABUAN BAJ0 - BALI

Transfer to the Airport for your flight back to Bali or to next destination (B).

4 DAYS KOMODO TOUR (VIA LABUAN BAJO) Grade: Easy Start/End: Labuan Bajo Airport

DAY 01: BALI - LABUAN BAJO (FLORES ISLAND) - RINCA ISLAND

On arrival in Labuan Bajo by flight from Bali, met and transferred to harbor and board on a wooden boat to cruise to Rinca Island. Afternoon arrive at Rinca Island. Accommodation on boat (L,D)

DAY 02: RINCA ISLAND - KOMODO ISLAND

Trekking on the Rinca island to observe the Komodo dragons and other wildlife such as deer, horses, bird etc. in their wild life. Return to the boat and proceed to Komodo Island. Afternoon beach activities at Pink Beach known as the best underwater corals. Return to the boat for overinght (B,L,D).

DAY 03: KOMODO - LABUANBAJO

Boarding down the boat and proceed trekking to meet and observe the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. Boating back to Labuan Bajo. Overnight at a hotel (B,L,D).

DAY 03: LABUAN BAJ0 - BALI

Transfer to the Airport for your flight back to Bali or to next destination (B).

Souce : http://www.indonesiatravelinfo.com/Komodo.htm

The Biogeography of the Komodo Dragon

(Varanus komodoensis)
by Craig Jung, student in Geography 316, Spring 1999

photo source: Ciofi 1999

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Family: Varanidae
Genus:Varanus
Species: V. komodoensis

Description of Species:
In Indonesia there is a type of lizard that can reach sizes that you may have thought only existed in fairy tales. These unique reptiles have been able to develop in an area where there is little for large animals to live on. They were there long before humans but like many organisms around the world they are subject to the growing human populations. These monitor lizards are known as Komodo dragons.
The Komodo dragon, also known as Varanus komodoensis, may reach lengths of up to three meters and may weigh as much as 500 pounds. They have claws that may be as long as ten centimeters, teeth that operate like little scalpels and saliva that contains a deadly bacteria, staphylococcus (Cherrington, 1997). These monitors are known to be strong swimmers and may dive down to depths of 15 feet. Most importantly they possess great intelligence, displayed best when they hunt or search out their next meal.

Habitat:
These unique animals are only found on the island of Komodo and three nearby islands in Indonesia. These islands are located in the lesser Sunda, halfway along the Indonesia archipelago, east of Bali and west of Timor. Human populations are small on these three islands. The island of Komodo contains about 1,700 dragons, Rinca has 1,300, and the tiny island of Gili Motang possesses around 100 dragons. Komodo National Park consists of these three islands and various other islets. Around 2000 more Komodos live on the island of Flores located to the east (Ciofi, 1999). These unique animals are only found on the island of Komodo and three nearby islands in Indonesia. These islands are located in the lesser Sunda, halfway along the Indonesia archipelago, east of Bali and west of Timor. Human populations are small on these three islands. The island of Komodo contains about 1,700 dragons, Rinca has 1,300, and the tiny island of Gili Motang possesses around 100 dragons. Komodo National Park consists of these three islands and various other islets. Around 2000 more Komodos live on the island of Flores located to the east (Ciofi, 1999).

Natural History:
Komodo dragons are one of the largest carnivorous reptiles. These large lizards start out as hatchlings only a foot long. Young dragons live in the trees for protection from larger predators and adult Komodo monitors. Their diets consist of insects and small lizards. When they reach adolescence their diets may consist of rodents, birds, and large mammals occasionally. Adult Komodo dragons can take down large animals fifteen times their size, like water buffalo (Cherrington 1997). When large mammals are not available adult monitors will scavenge or eat rodents. Monitors tend to rely on the element of surprise in order to catch a meal. They will lie and wait in heavy brush waiting for some unsuspecting deer or wild boar to cross their path.
Large prey usually will be struck at the ankles causing them to fall to the ground where they will be finished off by the monitor's powerful jaws. Their deadly saliva causes serious infections with no known cure. Even if the prey manages to escape the initial strike, they inevitably will die from an infection or bleed to death . These large monitors are rather fast for their size, 11 m.p.h., but only for short distances. Adult dragons have voracious appetites and can eat up to 80% of their empty body weight (Diamond 1992). They will eat everything from the bones to the hooves. Yet a 100 pound adult can survive on only 30 pounds of meat a month when it becomes necessary (Diamond, 1992). Their diets today, water buffalo and deer, were introduced by humans.
No distinguishing physical features provide any indications in determining their gender. Males tend to be larger than females but other than that there are no striking morphological differences. One slight difference lies in the arrangement of their scales in front of their cloaca, the cavity that contains their genitalia (Ciofi, 1999). Regardless of our inability to determine the proper gender, Komodo dragons know who is who and what is what. They tend to mate between May and August. Before mating occurs the dominant males battle to determine who will be their mate. They do not fight to the death, but blood is usually drawn. Their tails play an integral part during battle as they get in upright positions and wrestle (Ciofi, 1999). The winner of the wrestling match gets to choose his mate.
Courtship begins with the male flicking his tongue on the female's nose and then over her body. The male must expose a pair of hemipenes from his cloaca before mating can be accomplished. Once this has happened he then climbs on the back of his mate and inserts one of the two hemipenes into the female's cloaca (Ciofi, 1999).
A couple of months after the hot season female dragons will lay their eggs in September. Cooler conditions provide a better environment for the developing eggs. Usually the female monitor will dig out an area on a hill or takeover the nest of a Megapode bird (Ciofi, 1999). During the incubation period she will lie on the nest and protect her future offspring. Once the young hatch the female will tend to the young alone which is common for Komodos.

Evolution:
They share a common past with dinosaurs but are not direct descendants. Both dinosaurs and monitor lizards belong to the subclass Diapsida (Ciofi, 1999). The earliest fossils from this subclass go back to the late Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago. Monitor lizards are related to Lepidsauria which emerged from Diapsida, about 250 million years ago at the end of the Paleozoic era. About 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous era, a species related to contemporary varanids appear in the fossil records of central Asia. Marine lizards from this species went extinct, along with dinosaurs, about 65 million years ago. During the Eocene, 50 million years ago, land monitors spread throughout Europe and South Asia. The Varanus genus appeared and evolved about 40 and 25 million years ago in Asia. Varanids made it to Australia about 15 million years ago when Australia collided with southeast Asia. Then 2 million years later a second lineage differentiated and moved throughout Australia and the Indonesian archipelago when the two were much closer. Lower sea levels allowed the dragons to reach their destination. Varanus komodoensis differentiated from its earliest Australian relative about 4 million years ago (Ciofi, 1999). Komodos migrated to the islands of Flores, Rinca and Gila Motang, which were joined about 10,000 years ago. The island of Komodo joined the other islands around 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age.
Fossil evidence supports the idea that Komodo dragons may be relics of a larger distribution, stretching as far as the eastern portion of Flores to Timor. Fossils from pygmy elephants, stegodont, found on both Timor and Flores suggest that the two islands may have been close enough to allow migration during the Pleistocene era. The existence of large mammals provided an adequate supply of food to feed lizards as large as Komodo dragons and possibly larger. Megalania prisca, a varanid, could have reached lengths up to 23 feet and weighed up to a ton due to the existence of stegodonts or pygmy elephants (Diamond, 1992). These enormous varanids, that have been extinct for 25,000 years, may explain how Komodo dragons evolved to be such large carnivores in an ecosystem that has a limited amount of resources.

Distribution
There are two routes they could have traveled to reach their present location. They either arrived directly from Asia or came through the island of Java or Australia. The Komodo dragons are endemic to the islands of the Lesser Sunda. Their biomes consist of savanna, tropical scrub forest, and tropical grasslands. They managed to fill a niche on the islands which allowed them to evolve into modern day dragons. Komodo monitors colonized these small islands due to their cold blooded body types, and the conditions of the islands. The island of Komodo falls within the rain shadow of the larger island of Sumbawa (Cherrington, 1997). Komodos are known to go about a month and a half without water in the dry season. As reptiles, Komodo monitors do not require as much energy or food as carnivorous mammals, like tigers. Warm-blooded animals tend to have higher metabolisms that may limit their range to areas with sufficient food supplies. Cold-blooded animals require only one-tenth as much food as a mammal the same size (Diamond, 1992).

Map of Distribution:


Map Source: Ciofi 1999

Other interesting issues:
Deer poaching has created problems for some of the lizards to the point were they have been put on the endangered species list. Poaching combined with human interactions make the Komodo's situation worse. The island of Flores has both of these problems for the monitors. Slash and burn is practiced in the monsoon forest leading to the disappearance of the dragons (Ciofi, 1999). Once again humans are at the heart of some serious environmental problem. The fate of the Komodo dragon lies in the hands of people. Our choices will effect how another species will live or die. Hopefully we will all see the importance of such a rare reptilian species.

Bibliography
Cherrington, Mark. 1997. "Here Be Dragons." Earthwatch 17(1): 26-35.
Ciofi, Claudio. 1999. "The Komodo Dragon." Scientific America 280(3): 84-91. Maps of the Lesser Sunda came from the web site:www.sciam.com/1990/0399issue/0399ciofi.htm
Claudio Ciofi's article provided valuable information concerning the evolutionary history of Varanids.
Diamond, Jared. 1992. "The Evolution of Dragons." Discover 13(12): 72-80.
Quammen, David. 1996. The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions. New York, NY. Scribner.
Stevens, Jane. 1993. "Facing The Dragon." International Wildlife 23(3): 30-34.
Winters, Chris. 1995. Varanus komodoensis. University of Michigan [online] http://www.http.itd.umich.edu/bio /doc.cgi ...uamata/Varanidae/Varanus_komodoensis.

Source : http://www.sfsu.edu/~geog/bholzman/courses/316projects/komodo.htm