Happy (Belated) Mongrel Monday! Or Tyrannical Tuesday. And a Happy New Year to boot.
Welcome one and all to the year of 2012 C.E., also known by the Chinese Zodiac as the Year of the Dragon. It just so happens that I have chosen to honor this auspicious animal with a stately portrait. Help start the New Year off right. And thus I present to you...
King of Komodo, The Daunting Dragon, Varanus komodoensis.
Native to the island of Komodo (and a few others in the area), this cold-blooded champion of the ages spends his days leisurely stalking and ambushing prey. With poisoned saliva and a fiery tongue, this dragon certainly breathes fire for any it sinks its teeth into. With an island all to himself, this massive meat-eater has his pick of plentiful prey - perhaps that is why his mouth is always watering. Tough-skinned and strong of heart, this ancient beast fears none, and is respected by all. Ferocious in fighting and fast to feast, it is no wonder myths and legends surround such a revered reptile.
Komodo Dragon Fun Fact: young dragonlets scamper into trees soon after hatching, and live up in the canopy eating bugs and eggs until they get a little bigger. This way, they are not eaten by their adult counterparts (who can't climb) - and return to terra firma once they can stand their ground.
(This nibble of knowledge brought to you by the San Diego Zoo!)