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Watch: One Bite from This Deadly Lizard, And You May Only Have Hours to Live - Do Not Pet This

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Most people have the common sense to know that petting a Komodo dragon isn’t a good idea.

If you’re the exception to the rule, a demonstration of the reptile’s potent venom may be enough to give you pause.

A time-lapsed recording of the effects of a Komodo bite showed a flank of meat decomposing in gruesome fashion. During the experiment, broadcast on Animal Planet, the meat wasted away over the course of three days.

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Komodo dragons use their venomous bite to incapacitate their prey without a struggle, according to National Geographic. This is contrary to a long-held misconception that dangerous bacteria in the reptile’s bite resulted in the demise of its prey.

University of Melbourne scientists corrected this idea in 2009, with a study that involved removing the venom glands from a terminally ill Komodo dragon, according to The Guardian.

The feature makes the reptile’s venomous bite similar to snakes. The venom is capable of reducing prey’s blood pressure levels and sending them into shock.

Do these deadly lizards terrify you?

When the animal is weakened, the reptile seizes upon its prey. A video of Komodo dragons hunting can be viewed here, but be warned the content is graphic as it is of predators hunting prey in the wild.

The Komodo dragon is the single largest living lizard in nature today, according to Britannica.

Fortunately, most people won’t run into a Komodo anytime soon, let alone at their local petting zoo.

These beasts only live on several islands of Indonesia, including Rintja, Padar, Flores, and Komodo island, which gives the reptiles their name, according to LadBible.

These dragons often prey upon deer, watter buffalo, and pigs, but they are still a danger to humans.

According to the website, “These bad boys also have 60 very sharp razor teeth, and while their bite is not as threatening as some other reptiles, the venom delivered through their fangs makes them lethal. One bite from a Komodo dragon can kill a human within hours.”

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One of the animals killed an eight-year old boy in 2007, according to the The Guardian. Attacks aren’t usually fatal, but attacks on locals who live in the reptile’s range have left victims with injuries.

“”It is very common here to see dragons roaming in the residential area in the national park. But it is very rare that a Komodo dragon kills a human. Usually, people here only suffer minor injuries,” said Heru Rudiharto, a national parks spokesman on Komodo island.

In spite of their fearsome reputation, the Komodo dragon is an increasingly vulnerable animal.

Officials of the International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the Komodos as an endangered animal in 2021, according to The New York Times.

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