Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Komodo Dragon bites like a pussy cat

There's been quite a lot of coverage around the web this week about a new study which concludes that a Komodo Dragon's bite is weaker than that of the domestic house cat! Instead, it seems that the Komodo Dragon relies on razor-sharp teeth, powerful neck muscles, and a "space frame" skull to bring down its prey. This National Geographic News page has the story.
Using computer models, researchers from Australia's University of New South Wales analyzed a Komodo specimen from the Australian Museum in Sydney.
[...]
"The bite is really quite incredibly weak for such a big lizard—less than you'd expect from the average house cat," said Stephen Wroe, an author of the study, which was recently published in the Journal of Anatomy.

If a Komodo actually tried to crush prey with its jaws, like crocodiles do, "it would break its own skull," he said.

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