Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Komodo Dragon

This is only the second time I've shown a magnetic resonance image (MRI) on London Art News. Taken by Dr Bryan Fry of the University of Melbourne, it shows the venom glands (highlighted in red) inside the jaws of a Komodo dragon. Until two years ago it was thought that bacteria in the saliva of Komodo dragons infected and weakened their bitten prey. Then analysis of the dragon's venom found that it stops blood from clotting, causing a bitten victim to bleed to death or succumb to infection. The dragon will stalk its victim for days until it gets its meal. Dr Fry's researches were filmed for Natural World: Komodo - Secrets of the Dragon, which is on BBC Two tomorrow 24 August at 8pm (CLICK). For a slide show of this fearsome lizard, click the title link.


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