Scientific Wonder: Komodo Dragon Originated in Australia

Scientific Wonder: Komodo Dragon Originated in Australia
Komodo Dragon: of Australian origin. Credit: Dr. Damian Esquarie, ANU

Unusual breeding story of the greatest living lizard on Earth – The Komodo Dragon – was revealed in a new study by the National University of Australia. Was work Published Na Rivista “Systematic Biology”.

The Komodo dragon is known for its size and hunting skills. It can reach up to three meters in length and occasionally attacks buffalo, deer and even humans. But all this is no different.

The new study suggests that, despite living in Indonesia, the Komodo dragon probably originated Australia, As predicted by previous fossil findings. But in Australia it is associated with a different species of lizard – an ancestor of the sand monitor lizard, a type of monitor lizard (Gona) Belongs to.

The study’s lead author, Arlos Pavan-Vezczek, stated that this is the first clear evidence that such intersections, which Hybridization, Occurs in wild monitor lizards.

Long lasting effect

“This study proves that hybridization can have a long-lasting effect,” Pavon-Vaccze said. “In this case, it happened millions of years ago, but the signs are still on the sand monitor lizards. You hope they have in common with the Komodo Dragon. “

Pavón-Vázquez continued that sand-monitor lizards occur only in Australia and southern New Guinea, while the Komodo dragon is found only in some islands in Indonesia. “To cross, they must have been together for some time in the past. (…) Our data support the theory that the Komodo dragons originated in Australia and then crossed Indonesia before becoming extinct here.”

Pavón Vázquez said, has been added to previous Queensland fossil evidence, which collects data known about the biology of the Komodo dragons.

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“Earlier, the Komodo dragon was considered a good example of what biologists call island rule – with the growth of small animals in an island environment,” he said. “But our findings offer strong evidence that the Komodo dragon was already very large when it originated in Australia.

Pavón-Vásquez said: “We also show how different types of data are used to detect hybridization. This is important because, when it happened millions of years ago, it can be difficult to detect. Now we can say by looking at the morphology and genes of the animal.

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Cory Weinberg

About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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