The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is the largest lizard in the world, growing to a length of 3 metres and weighing as much as 80 kg. It is a member of the monitor lizard family, Varanidae. They are carnivores and hunt live prey, with a stealthy approach followed by a sudden short charge (they can run briefly at speeds up to 20 km/h). They have a strong bite augmented by some 50 different bacterial strains in their saliva.
Mating occurs between May and August, with the eggs laid in September. The eggs are protected but the hatchlings (100 g and 40 cm in length) are not and most are eaten. They take around five years to grow to 2 metres in length and can live for up to 30 years.