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Prof. Katie Hinde @Mammals_Suck
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Next Up- THE POTTERVERSE BATTLE: DRAGON VS. OWL #2018MMM
More specifically: #3 Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) vs. #6 Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) #2018MMM
Komodo Dragon swallowed the snot otter to advance to round 2, while Eurasian Eagle Owl perforated the Beaded Lizard, relative of @gilamonsterasu #2018MMM
Komodo Dragons are massive, venomous monitor lizards. I first learned about the world's biggest lizard as an undergrad when I devoured @DavidQuammen's incredible "Song of the Dodo" #2018MMM
Hatchlings make a run to the nearest tree, spending nearly all of their time arboreal to avoid predators, including OTHER KOMODO DRAGONS! #IntraspecificPredation (term sounds so much better than cannibalism) (Imansyah et al 2007) #2018MMM s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.d…
Over the next 1-2 years, Komodo Dragon hatchlings will move arboreal locations about once every 9 days (Imansyah et al. 2007) growing from their diet of insects, lizards and... BIRDS (and assorted eggs of these taxa) #2018MMM
On the island of Flores, 95,000-17,000 years ago, Komodo Dragons were hunted by Homo floresiensis (when they got tired of hunting tiny elephants) (Van Den Bergh et al. 2009)! Later tonight on #2018MMM Flo battles Amebelodon #StayTuned sciencedirect.com/science/articl…
Today on Flores, barn owls & scopsowls are present, but during the time of Homo floresiensis there was likely an even BIGGER barn owl species (Van Den Bergh et al. 2009). #2018MMM
But still not as big as Eurasian Eagle Owl #2018MMM (gif not an Eurasian Eagle Owl)
Eurasian Eagle Owls are known predators of the ocellated lizard that can reach 3 feet in length, seen here in defensive pose (Martín & López 1996) #2018MMM
But ocellated lizards only tip the scales at ~1lb, much much much much much much much smaller than the 200 lbs that adult male Komodo Dragons achieve (seen here swallowing a wild boar) #2018MMM
Tonight's Battle takes place on Flores near Komodo National Park komodonationalpark.org #BucketList #2018MMM (Map from Figure 1 journals.plos.org/plosone/articl…)
The Eurasian Eagle Owl flies through the open deciduous forest preferred by Komodo dragon hatchlings #2018MMM
The keen eyes of the owl spot a subtle movement that could be a young lizard in locomotion, relocating from one tree to another, she turns & swoops low to investigate #2018MMM
The Eurasian Eagle Owl's adaptations for silent flight are somewhat irrelevant given the poor hearing of the Komodo Dragon #2018MMM
The owl glides lower, talons outstretched #2018MMM
STRIKE! #2018MMM
A full-grown Komodo Dragon about to #InterspeciesPredation ambush the hatchling gets a bird bonus! #2018MMM
With a shake of his head, the Komodo Dragon snaps the Eagle Owl's neck! #2018MMM
Komodo, head extended, swallows the owl whole!
With her snapped neck, the paralyzed owl can not defensively slash with beak or talon! #2018MMM
The owl's dying hoots emanate from the Komodo Dragon's stomach.
(for real, I saw this happen in Indonesia in 2001, but instead of an owl it was a chicken #BasedOnTrueEvents) #2018MMM
KOMODO DRAGONS SWALLOWS THE EURASIAN EAGLE OWL!!! #2018MMM
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