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Re: Varanus komodoensis feeding



On Fri, Oct 21st, 2011 at 8:55 AM, Brian Hathaway <hammeris1@att.net> wrote:

> Besides purely mechanical effects, does the Komodo dragon's pulling actually 
> release the venom (effectively)?

Their venom glands release venom when squeezed, so it would seem that clamping 
their jaws 
down on their prey is what stimulates the release. Pulling back would then open 
the wounds further 
to allow the venom a better chance of entering the bloodstream.

The venom seems to be an adaptation for taking down prey much larger than 
themselves - 
perhaps originally dwarf elephants, but it seems to work just as well on water 
buffalo. Where 
smaller prey is concerned (goats, deer, even humans), the jaws themselves are 
more than 
sufficient to get the job done. Komodo monitors can remove the entire calf 
muscle from a human 
leg in one seemingly casual bite.

-- 
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Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
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