The family Varanidae takes its name from the Arabic ouran, their word for the gray desert monitor. Varanidae is a relatively small but colorful family of dinosaur descendants. Its members are often referred to as “dragons” and the Komodo dragon is the largest of the 42 monitors in existence. And yet it was not until 1912 that it was first known to the scientific world. The director of lava’s Buitenzong Botanical Garden, Major P.A. Ouwens, had heard rumors of the existence of “land crocodiles,” as the animals are referred to locally, and he eventually secured some of the first specimens. He named and described them and so spurred on the scientific and zoological community all over the world to acquire specimens as well. Fortunately the Indonesian government has been very careful about releasing many of the animals. Consequently the species is surviving well on the four islands that comprise the Komodo National Park, some 350 miles east of lava.
KeywordsIndonesian Government Colorful Family Komodo Dragon Deer Herd Human Population Pressure
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