Komodo, yes please, dragon, one of the most underrated lizards out there with an impressive title of the largest lizard in the world! They are very heavy and agile, weighing up to 250 pounds and have an incredible skill of detecting their prey from up to 8 miles away.
The fact that they are cold-blooded, but not cold-hearted, and have some mammalian features, they can obtain a great speed and endurance, too. Unfortunately, scientists seemed to not care that much about them or maybe they couldn’t find easily more about their features, because they still wonder how the DNA of these mesmerizing creatures encrypts such astonishing characteristics.
Researchers from the Gladstone Institute and scientists from UCS San Francisco, in collaboration with Zoo Atlanta, as well, realized a study about the Komodo dragon, offering us a closeup of the animal’s evolution. They started doing that by realizing the fact that the lizard’s genome was missing and they couldn’t put the Komodo dragon in any family. They also explained that the vertebrate genomes are pretty big, and they have many repetitive classifications, making them hard to find a family to put them in.
Researchers used some of the most advanced technologies, fact that helped them successfully identify the lizard’s classification, also, they found out how unique its genome is. Their analysis showed that the Komodo dragon achieved its near-mammalian metabolism due to the fact that its genes allow it to continuously increase its aerobic capacity. We know now, for sure that’s the reason why the Komodo dragons are so capable of swimming for a long period of time or walk for extremely long distances. The fact that these lizards have a surprisingly big number of genes that encrypt chemical sensors known as vomeronasal receptors make them even more interesting!