Who says they're cold-blooded?
In the February 2006 issue of Reptiles*, Jim Pether, owner/manager of a reptile park in the Canary Islands, shares his experiences breeding Komodo dragons (Komodos: A Breeding Project With Teeth). His initial attempts were nearly disastrous: "Then, one day when I was not at the park, a visitor ran and told my wife Christine that one dragon was attacking another. She ran down to find the male chewing the female's leg off and bravely (or stupidly, depending on your view) jumped in and began beating him over the head with a broom." She manages to rescue the female by luring the male away with a dead rat. The vet saved the female's leg. Not willing to press his luck, Pether sent the female to the Rotterdam Zoo. He had one more female to try out. "Nervous at first, the female ran away and hid in her burrow . . ." Word gets around. "but after a few days got used to the male's presence. They were soon basking together." On to the action. "Actual mating began when the male started tongue flicking the female's cloacal area, presumably to test if she was ovulating and releasing pheromones. The male then raked her back with his long claws and tongue flicked her body. He then positioned his body parallel to hers and tongue-flicked her neck. Using a rear leg, he lifted her tail to mate with her." Was it good for you, too? D. *Available at pet stores near you!