A recent Instagram video showing a Komodo dragon inhaling a “deer” (which appears to actually be a goat) is making the rounds today. And why not? It’s been a long day already. You’ve gotten some work done. You deserve to watch animals gobbling up one another, and this is as good a gobbling as any. It’s better than most, really, because with snakes and alligators swallowing things whole starting to get a little old on social media, a Komodo dragon is a nice change of pace. (I didn’t even know Komodo dragons were such big gulpers, but, then, I don’t know Komodo dragons.)
People who do know them may not be so surprised by the video because it turns out that walking around and slurping up mid- to large-size animals is pretty normal behavior by the world’s biggest lizards. According to the Smithsonian Institute, their jaws hinge, and their stomachs expand, and their powerful mouth and throat muscles allow them to “swallow huge chunks of meat with astonishing rapidity.” Dragons that reach 5 years old or older routinely chug down monkeys, goats, pigs, and Timor deer. They also eat each other. (And as an interesting side note, they are excellent at the opposite of swallowing, too. Komodo dragons can barf up whole animals at a moment’s notice if they need to flee quickly. Why an animal with venomous saliva that can swallow you whole would have to flee, I don’t know. But there it is.)
But no matter how well you know Komodos, this video is amazing to watch. (Now that I think of it, it’s probably the most committed Komodo dragon fans who really eat this stuff up.) In the clip’s initial frame, the giant lizard lunges at the goat, which stumbles in an attempt to get away—and that’s when the dragon clamps down. Then, waddling, he carries his catch over to the edge of some brush, stops, and chug-a-lug-a-lugs the whole goat right down. Mmmm. There’s a moment when the dragon seems to look at the camera, with only the goat’s feet still sticking out of its mouth, as if to say, “Give me a second” or “Yeah, that just happened,” and then he slurps down the feet, and that’s the end of the video—and the goat.
It’s not a long clip, so in case your work day is still dragging on—and to prove that Komodo dragons really do go around gobbling up large animals whole as a regular thing—here’s a nice round-up of Youtube vids showing dragons gulping all kind of things, even a snake and shark.
Watch a Komodo Dragon Devour a Deer
Watch a Komodo Dragon Gobble a Goat
This is actually a longer (and flopped) version of the same clip above, in case you wanted more detail.