See a livery drayer It’s the worlds largest species of lizard.-but the Komodo dragon fits the bill for looks and fearsomeness, and has been known to kill humans. It is native to Rincah, Komodo, and neighboring Indonesian islands.
Full-grown lizards can grow to 10ft (3m) in length and they weigh around 155Ib (70kg). Scarier still, they may eat up to 80 percent of their own body weight in one sitting. Despite their bulk, they charge prey, using their long, serrated teeth to inflict vicious wounds. The bite is bad, and the septicemia that generally occurs afterward is worse.
The dragon’s teeth harbor virulent bacteria, aided by its habit of biting its own gums when it eats, giving it blood-red saliva. It has a keen sense of smell, tracking dead or wounded prey to finish off at leisure. There are estimated to be around 5,000 dragons in the wild, making this a vulnerable species. Reproduction isn’t an easy affair as females bite and scratch at the first courtship approach. Eggs lake seven months to hatch, and surviving hatchlings spend their early lives in trees to avoid becoming dinner for mom or dad.
There have been two recorded instances of females reproducing in zoos without a male participant. Scientists have suggested that this ability to conceive immaculately (known as parthenogenesis) would have been handy in the distant past—giving single female Komodo dragons an ability to colonize remote islands and establish a new population. Your best chance of seeing a wild dragon is on an escorted tour from the island of Flores in the south-east of the Indonesian archipelago. Zoos with good populations include the Smithsonian in Washington DC.
Come fate-to-fate with a unite The mythical beast that crops up so often in her and medieval literature may have its origins in a animal. Some historians have speculated that y( can even encounter one today.
Unicorns appear in folklore and images around the globe—from India and the steppes of Russia, to Norway and Japan. You can see them on the Scottish coat-of-arms and view wonderful tapestries depicting the one-horned beast at Musee de Cluny in Paris, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. A skeleton of a unicorn was supposedly uncovered in the Harz Mountains of Germany in the 17th century—although nothing remains of it. Some have speculated that the unicorn was actually a rhinoceros, since this is the only mammal with one horn, but it is too ungainly and ill-tempered to convincingly fit the legend. So for romantics, the most likely candidate for a living unicorn is the eland of southern Africa.
It has the requisite grace and agility, and is capable of defending itself against a lion. It is considered to have spiritual and mythological properties by Africans, and is the animal most often depicted in east African rock art.
Perhaps most convincing of all for would-be unicorn spotters is that, although it generally has two horns, some are recorded as being born with only one. You will find the eland on the savannas and plains of southern and eastern Africa. Wildlife reserves in South Africa and Zambia’s Zambezi National Park are the best places to spot them.