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Komodo dragons kill with venom, not bacteria, study says

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posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:09 PM
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Komodo dragons kill with venom, not bacteria, study says


www.cnn.com

A new study dispels the widely accepted theory that the Komodo dragon kills by infecting its prey with toxic bacteria.

Instead, the world's largest lizard delivers a powerful bite with its serrated teeth and uses a powerful venom to bring down its victims.

Komodo dragons are native to the islands of Indonesia. They can weigh more than 220 pounds (100 kilograms) and grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) in length.

But their bites are not as strong as that of a crocodile, for example. And they cannot hold down their prey. So, researchers wondered, what lay behind the dragons' hunting success
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:09 PM
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This is so strange that it took this long to figure out that they had venom. I have heard the bacteria thing for as long as I can remember.

Did it really take this long to figure out that it was venom and not a bacterial infection that was killing them? I was under the impression that the prey lived for days until it died from the infection but the article makes it sound as though they prey would bleed out quite quickly.

Why did scientists think that it was a bacterial infection that killed its prey in a short amount of time. That just doesnt make sense?

You learn something new everyday. This is the type of new fact that will win free drinks at the bar.

www.cnn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:17 PM
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Originally posted by iamcamouflage
This is so strange that it took this long to figure out that they had venom. I have heard the bacteria thing for as long as I can remember.


It is very strange that it took them this long. Perhaps they couldn't identify the venom in the victims bodies for a long time? Maybe survivors got hidious infections and without identifying the venom they thought maybe it was a bacteria?

I never heard the bacteria thing, but it seems so unlikely.

[edit on 20-5-2009 by Sonya610]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:21 PM
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I also heard the bacteria thing all while growing up. The only thing I can figure as far as not finding out until now is that whoever was doing the study was just scared out of their mind of lizards....especially big ones! They just didn't want to go near and assumed it was bacteria.

Another possibility is the venom is not very lethal and just slows the victim down and lowers immune response. That way the bacteria has time to work plus a speed booster from the immunity deficiency? Just my thoughts... I like the scared scientist theory the most though



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:27 PM
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Wow, that's cool. So I think that makes them only the second venomous lizard species, along side the Gila Monster? They are one intimidating reptile. I remember when the croc hunter Steve Irwin was being chased up a tree by one trying to eat him. Ferocious predators.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:31 PM
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reply to post by iamcamouflage
 


Funny, I always was told by zoology and biology teachers that they used venom, similar to the way that snakes do.

I had only heard the bacteria theory maybe once.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:34 PM
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reply to post by iamcamouflage
 


I can't belive this is breaking news...CNN are soooooo far behind, i heard this a few years ago, when i was looking up info about my bearded dragons. the source i had read at the time said that it was lineage from the rattle snake??

I found this source from 2006 on the net:
velocity.ansto.gov.au...



Research by an Aussie lizard lover has uncovered venomous evidence that is going to rewrite the history of reptile evolution.

The new discovery has found that goannas and iguanas are venomous, and share a common venomous ancestor with snakes.


As deputy director of the Australian Venom Research Unit, Bryan's childhood dream of playing with venomous animals for a living has come true
Based at the Australian Venom Research Unit, Dr Bryan Fry led a team of 14 researchers spread over six countries. Their findings describe the existence of oral venom glands in goannas and iguanas. The discovery already has herpetologists reaching for their reptile family trees - because it proves that venom systems in snakes and lizards evolved before, not after, the two species started their shuffle down different evolutionary paths.




Bryan is no stranger to toppling established theories, with earlier work showing that venom systems were a shared trait of all advanced snakes, not just ones with their pearly whites up front.

From their names, you can imagine that the Gila monster and Mexican bearded lizard are two fellows you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. Until now, these species had the exclusive position of being the only lizards known to have venom systems. Because their venom glands had a different structure than those of their snakey counterparts, everyone assumed that the venom systems had evolved independently.

If you have ever been confronted by a human with breath bad enough to knock you out, spare a thought for monitor lizards like the Komodo Dragon. Everyone thought that it was toxic bacteria in their mouth that gave them the ability to kill prey.





[edit on 20-5-2009 by MCoG1980]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:39 PM
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Apparently Brian Fry has been advancing the theory that venemous lizard are not uncommon. Here is a New Scientist article dating from November 2005 about Dr. Fry's research on them. Bacterial infection theory was not unique to Kimodo Dragons.

link

Monitor lizards - commonly kept as pets - and iguanas produce venom, according to surprising new research that is rewriting the story of lizard and snake evolution.

Until now, nasty swellings and excessive bleeding as a result of a lizard bite were blamed on infection from the bacteria in the creatures' mouths. Venom had been considered the preserve of advanced snakes and just two species of lizard - the gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard. And scientists had thought these lizards evolved venom production independent of snakes.

But research Bryan Fry's team at the University of Melbourne, Australia, now suggests that venomous lizards are much more widespread than anyone realised. Furthermore venomous lizards and snakes are in fact descended from a common ancestor that lived about 200 million years ago.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by MCoG1980
 


Bugger. You posted while I was preparing my post! Well, it has an earlier mention anyway, by four months.


[edit on 5/20/2009 by EnlightenUp]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:47 PM
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Well so much for APL channel as well as NGC.

lol

I had always thought it was bacteria as well having had an interest in the dragon all my life.

Good thread as it also reveals how deep incorrect knowledge is even if the truth or fact of the matter has been known in scientific circles for a decade or more!



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by iamcamouflage
 


Funny, I always was told by zoology and biology teachers that they used venom, similar to the way that snakes do.

I had only heard the bacteria theory maybe once.


I guess these truths are kept from the public and disinformation promulgated on various so-called "educational" channels (bad for lizard pet industry?). I always heard the bacterial explanation along with denial of a venemous one in regards to the kimodo dragon. I have heard programs state the gila monster was the only venemous lizard as well not minding the Mexican bearded lizard. All this was heard within a decade or so.

[edit on 5/20/2009 by EnlightenUp]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 10:03 PM
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This is probably a good example of "group think"

SO one scientist says "komodos kill prey with bacteria" and no one saw a need to question that finding until now? Science is pretty flawed sometimes...



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 10:10 PM
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how exactly is this conspiracy oriented? it sounds like science. I thought breaking alternative news was supposed to have a conspiracy component. just asking.



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by earlywatcher
how exactly is this conspiracy oriented? it sounds like science. I thought breaking alternative news was supposed to have a conspiracy component. just asking.


Well to me it looks like the pet industry and the pet/animal film industry are holding back some scientific facts concerning the nature of animals.

Are we being educated with "false facts" on educational TV?



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 08:59 AM
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Haven't Komodo dragons been disected and studied before? Surely they would have seen venom sacks and hollow fangs capable of injecting venom? I've always heard it was bacteria.

Peace



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 09:38 AM
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I remember doing a huge project in school about komodo dragons. Beautiful creatures but awefully deadly. I have heard about the toxic bacteria for as long as I could remember. It's interesting why we hadn't found out that it was venom earlier.



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by EnlightenUp
reply to post by MCoG1980
 


Bugger. You posted while I was preparing my post! Well, it has an earlier mention anyway, by four months.


[edit on 5/20/2009 by EnlightenUp]


i think your source is the original source i read a few years ago

I tried to find it but failed, cheers dude



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 12:48 PM
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Good article.

It's just one more reason that I don't need a ten foot long lizard's mouth clamped to my leg.

They lose about 1-2 people per year on the islands that have the Komoto dragons because people are stupid and get too close.



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by mostlyspoons
This is probably a good example of "group think"

SO one scientist says "komodos kill prey with bacteria" and no one saw a need to question that finding until now? Science is pretty flawed sometimes...


... it fixes itself and it's own errors as demonstrated on a daily basis by new discoveries and rediscoveries.

Don't forget that Science is practiced by PEOPLE.



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by Dr Love
 


It might be like some of the more primitive ways of delivering venom. In these ways there is merely a channel along which the venom flows. As for venom sacks or glands maybe those are relatively small or nonexistent. Maybe due to the primitiveness of their venom it is made with the saliva and this would be why the bacteria theory has lived so long.

At least this is a thought that comes to mind.

I have also heard the bacteria thing, and never the venom thing. I wonder how much else bad education we have been subjected to our whole life. Then again maybe this was tossed out there as bad education and the bacteria thing is right after all. This is sort of confusing in the end, because you are not sure who exactly to believe unless you test it for yourself.


Raist



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