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Where is Komodo National Park? Are they endangered? How heavy and how fast are they?

All your questions answered

  • Andrew Griffin

  • Monday 6 March 2017 10:45





Click to follow
The Independent Tech

A sleeping but terrifying Komodo dragon is greeting everyone who heads to Google today. And for good reason.

While the animals have become known as perhaps the most fearsome creature that walks the Earth – inspiring legends and terror around the world – they have also become much loved.

That’s in large part because they are under threat, and environmental activists have had to work hard to keep them around. They are in danger of being wiped out for a number of reasons, including volcanic activity and earthquakes as well as human behaviour like poaching, tourism and the destruction of their habitats.

It’s that conservation work – which is ongoing at the Komodo National Park – that is commemorated in the Google Doodle.


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1/110 St Andrew’s Day 2018

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Google Doodle celebrating Nigerian Independence Day
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Google Doodle celebrating Tamara de Lempicka
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Google Doodle celebrating Maria Reiche
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Google Doodle celebrating Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss
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Google Doodle celebrating Fanny Blankers-Koen
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Google Doodle celebrating Omar Sharif
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Google Doodle celebrating Maya Angelou
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Google Doodle celebrating John Harrison
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24/110 Hannah Glasse

Google Doodle celebrating Hannah Glasse
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25/110 Katsuko Saruhashi

Google Doodle celebrating Katsuko Saruhashi
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26/110 Guillermo Haro

Google Doodle celebrating Guillermo Haro
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27/110 Sir William Henry Perkin

Google Doodle celebrating Sir William Henry Perkin
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28/110 Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Google Doodle celebrating Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Google

29/110 Holi

Google Doodle celebrating Holi
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30/110 St. David’s Day

Google Doodle celebrating St. David’s Day
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31/110 Carter G Woodson

Google Doodle celebrating Carter G Woodson
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32/110 Wilder Penfield

Google Doodle celebrating Wilder Penfield
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33/110 Virginia Woolf

Google Doodle celebrating Virginia Woolf
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34/110 Sergei Eisenstein

Google Doodle celebrating Sergei Eisenstein
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35/110 Winter Solstice

Google Doodle celebrating Winter Solstice
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36/110 St Andrew’s Day

Google Doodle celebrating St Andrew’s Day
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37/110 Gertrude Jekyll

Google Doodle celebrating Gertrude Jekyll
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38/110 Children’s Day 2017

Google Doodle celebrating Children’s Day 2017
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39/110 Cornelia Sorabji

Google Doodle celebrating Cornelia Sorabji
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40/110 Pad Thai

Google Doodle celebrating Pad Thai
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41/110 Jackie Forster

Google Doodle celebrating Jackie Forster
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42/110 Halloween 2017

Google Doodle celebrating Halloween 2017
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43/110 Studio for Electronic Music

Google Doodle celebrating the Studio for Electronic Music
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44/110 Selena Quintanilla

Google Doodle celebrating Selena Quintanilla
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45/110 Olaudah Equiano

Google Doodle celebrating Olaudah Equiano
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46/110 Fridtjof Nansen

Google Doodle celebrating Fridtjof Nansen
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47/110 Amalia Hernandez

Google Doodle celebrating Amalia Hernandez
Google

48/110 Dr Samuel Johnson

Google Doodle celebrating Dr Samuel Johnson
Google

49/110 Sir John Cornforth

Google Doodle celebrating Sir John Cornforth
Google

50/110 British Sign Language

Google Doodle celebrating British Sign Language
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51/110 Eduard Khil

Google Doodle celebrating Eduard Khil
Google

52/110 James Wong Howe

Google Doodle celebrating James Wong Howe
Google

53/110 Eiko Ishioka

Google Doodle celebrating Eiko Ishioka
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54/110 Eva Ekeblad

Google Doodle celebrating Eva Ekeblad
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55/110 Fourth of July

Google Doodle celebrating Fourth of July
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56/110 Wimbledon Championship

Google Doodle celebrating Wimbledon
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57/110 Victor Hugo

Google Doodle celebrating Victor Hugo
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58/110 Google Doodle celebrating Oskar Fischinger

Google Doodle celebrating Oskar Fischinger
Google

59/110 UK General Election 2017

Google celebrates the UK General Election
Google

60/110 Zaha Hadid

Google celebrates the acclaimed architect for becoming the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize on this day in 2004
Google

61/110 Richard Oakes

Google Doodle celebrating Richard Oakes’ 75 birthday
Google

62/110 Google Doodle celebrating the Antikythera Mechanism

Google Doodle celebrating the Antikythera Mechanism
Google

63/110 Ferdinand Monoyer

The famous French ophthalmologist, who invented the eye test, would have celebrated his 181st birthday today
Google

64/110 Google Doodle celebrating Giro d’Italia’s 100th Anniversary

Google Doodle celebrating Giro d’Italia’s 100th Anniversary
Google

65/110 Google Doodle celebrating Nasa’s Cassini probe

Google Doodle celebrating Nasa’s Cassini probe
Google

66/110 Google Doodle celebrating Fazlur Rahman Khan

Google Doodle celebrating Fazlur Rahman Khan
Google

67/110 Google Doodle celebrating Sergei Diaghilev

Google Doodle celebrating Sergei Diaghilev
Google

68/110 Google Doodle celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Google Doodle celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
Google

69/110 Google Doodle celebrating Holi Festival

Google Doodle celebrating Holi Festival
Google

70/110 Google Doodle celebrating St. David’s Day

Google Doodle celebrating St. David’s Day
Google

71/110 Abdul Sattar Edhi

Google Doodle of Abdul Sattar Edhi on February 28 2017
Google

72/110 Seven earth-sized exoplanets discovered

Google Doodle celebrates Nasa’s discovery of seven earth-sized exoplanets in new solar system
Google

73/110 Bessie Coleman

Google Doodle honours the first African American woman to get an international pilot licence on her 125th birthday
Google

74/110 Caroling

Google Doodle celebrates Christmas caroling
Google

75/110

Today’s Google Doodle features activist Steve Biko
Google

76/110 Walter Cronkite

Google celebrates Walter Cronkite’s 100th birthday

77/110 Ladislao José Biro

Google celebrates Ladislao José Biro 117th birthday

78/110 Google

Google celebrates its 18th birthday

79/110 The history of tea in Britain

Google celebrates the 385th anniversary of tea in the UK

80/110 Autumnal equinox 2016

Google marks the start of fall

81/110 Paralympics 2016

Google marks the start of the Paralympic Games 2016

82/110 Nettie Stevens

Google celebrates Nettie Stevens 155th birthday

83/110 Father’s Day 2016

Google celebrates Father’s Day

84/110 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Google celebrates Elizabeth Garrett Anderson 180th birthday

85/110 Earth Day 2016

Google celebrates Earth Day

86/110 Ravi Shankar

Google marks Pandit Ravi Shankar’s 96th birthday

87/110 Olympic Games in 1896

Google are celebrates the 120th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games in 1896

88/110 World Twenty20 final

Google celebrates the 2016 World Twenty20 cricket final between the West Indies and England with a doodle
Google

89/110 William Morris

Google celebrates William Morris’ 182 birthday with a doodle showcasing his most famous designs
Google

90/110 St Patrick’s Day 2016

Googlle celebrates St Patrick’s Day on 17 March

91/110 Caroline Herschel

Google marks Caroline Herschel’s 266th birthday
Google

92/110 Clara Rockmore

Google celebrates Clara Rockmore’s 105th birthday

93/110 International Women’s Day 2016

#OneDayIWill video marks International Woman’s Day on 8 March

94/110 St David’s Day 2016

Google marks St David’s Day
Google

95/110 Leap Year 2016

Google celebrates Leap Day on 28 February 2
Google

96/110 Lantern Festival 2016

Google celebrates the last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations with a doodle of the Lantern Festival
Google

97/110 Stethoscope Inventor, René Laennec

Google celebrate’s René Laennec’s 235th birthday

98/110 Valentine’s Day 2016

Google celebrates Valentine’s Day with a romantic Doodle

99/110 Dmitri Mendeleev

Google celebrate Dmitri Mendeleev’s 182nd birthday

100/110 “The televisor” demonstartion

Google Doodle celebrates 90 years since the first demonstration of television or “the televisor” to the public

101/110 Professor Scoville

Google marks Professor Scoville’s 151st birthday

102/110 Sophie Taeuber-Arp

Google marks Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s 127th birthday

103/110 Charles Perrault

Google celebrates author Charles Perrault’s 388th birthday

104/110 Mountain of Butterflies discovery

Google celebrates the 41st anniversary of the discovery of the Mountain of Butterflies

105/110 Winter Solstice 2015

Google celebrate the Winter Solstice

106/110 St Andrew’s Day 2015

Google marks St Andrew’s Day with doodle featuring Scotland’s flag and Loch Ness monster

107/110 41st anniversary of the discovery of ‘Lucy’

Google marks the 41st anniversary of the discovery of ‘Lucy’, the name given to a collection of fossilised bones that once made up the skeleton of a hominid from the Australopithecus afarensis species, who lived in Ethiopia 3.2 million years ago

108/110 George Boole

Google marks George Boole’s 200th birthday

109/110 Halloween 2015

Google celebrates Halloween using an interactive doodle game “Global Candy Cup”

110/110 Prague Astronomical Clock

Google celebrates the 605th anniversary of the Prague Astronomical Clock, one of the oldest functioning timepieces in the world

Where is Komodo National Park?

The Komodo National Park is in Indonesia, taking up three big islands and 26 smaller ones. It was created in 1980 to help protect the habitat of the Komodo dragon – which doesn’t live anywhere else, and came to be so strange because of the environment of the islands – but it doesn’t just contain them, also taking up parts of the water that include a hugely diverse set of marine life.

The park is officially part of Indonesia and is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Those are located just north of Australia.


Tourists can visit there, and around 4,000 people live on the islands.

It is the conservation area’s 37th birthday today, which is what led it to be featured on the Google Doodle.

Are they endangered?

The park was created precisely to help the dragons – and eventually a range of other animals – survive the threat that they are under. But despite that, they are still threatened, and are defined as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

On some of the islands on which they once lived, they have been completely wiped out. But on others their population is small but stable – while they appear to be safe for now on the bigger islands, the populations are still falling because of shrinking numbers on the smaller ones.

How heavy and fast are they?

The international and lingering obsession with the Kimodo dragon is in large part a result of their huge size and fearsome characteristics. They are huge, heavy and fast – and can put all of those to work in attacking and killing their prey.

An average male can weigh up to 200 lb, and a female will weigh up to 160 lb, and the animals can be as long as 2.6 metres. The biggest ever wild dragon found weighed 366 pounds, including the undigested food inside of it, and was 3.13 metres long.

That huge size makes them easily the biggest species of lizard. Their huge size is the result of where they live – on the islands that they continue to inhabit, they became huge, an effect known as “island giganticism” that also gave rise to a number of other huge species, like the famous tortoises that live on the Galápagos Islands.

Despite their huge bodies, they can run as fast as 11mph over short distances on land.

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Komodo Dragons

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