Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. Amazon Deals
    07:58 Deals

    10 deals you don’t want to miss on Saturday: $5 Alexa smart plugs, $110 electric sta…

  2. Amazon Gift Card Promotion
    14:41 Deals

    Amazon’s giving away $15 credits, but this is your last chance to get one

  3. Control Garage Door With iPhone
    08:10 Deals

    Unreal deal gets you Amazon’s hottest smart home gadget for $23 – plus a $40 c…

  4. Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum
    16:11 Deals

    Amazon coupon slashes our favorite self-emptying robot vacuum to its lowest price ever

  5. Amazon Echo Auto Price
    11:41 Deals

    Last chance to add hands-free Alexa to your car for $19.99 with this Amazon deal

Scientists move one step closer to explaining why Komodo dragons are so awesome

July 30th, 2019 at 4:19 PM
komodo dragon

Komodo dragons are incredible animals. They’re lizards, but they have a number of unique tweaks to their chemistry that gives them advantages often only seen in mammals. To figure out how these large predators arrived at their current state, researchers dove into their genes.

The study, which was published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, reveals that Komodo dragons get their unique abilities thanks to specific genetic adaptations. By comparing the genome of the dragons with other similar species, scientists now have a much better idea of what specific genetic quirks are responsible for the traits shared by the species.

Komodo dragons are big, but they’re also remarkably fast. That’s a rare combination in reptiles since the cold-blooded creatures often lack high aerobic capacity and typically have slow metabolisms.

In studying their genome, researchers discovered unique changes to how the mitochondria of the cells of the dragons function, and it’s believed that this may be at least partly responsible for their impressive capabilities. The benefits for the animals include greater metabolism and increased aerobic capacity — how efficient the body is at using oxygen — promoting speed and strength.

Additionally, the scientists discovered the reason why Komodo dragon bites aren’t nearly as deadly when members of the species attack each other rather than prey. Researchers already knew the venom used by the animals includes an anti-coagulant that promotes bleeding when a prey animal is bitten, but when a dragon bites another dragon that didn’t happen. The team found a specific adaptation in the Komodo dragon genes that negated the effects of this specific anti-coagulant, allowing two dragons to battle for territory or breeding rights without risking their lives.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today,, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.

Popular News