Monitor Lizard vs Komodo Dragon: How to Tell the Differences

What is the difference between monitor lizard and Komodo dragon?

Monitor lizards and Komodo dragon are both reptiles. There is no big difference between monitor lizards and Komodo dragons. People often confuse them and use the names interchangeably but there is a slight difference between the two.

The main difference between monitor lizards and Komodo dragon is that Komodo dragons are a type of monitor lizards, they are the deadliest monitor lizards.

You May Also Like: Difference between Salamander and Lizard 

Comparison Table (Monitor Lizard vs Komodo Dragon)

Characteristics Monitor lizards Komodo dragons
Scientific name Its scientific name is Varanus. Its scientific name is Varanus Komodoensis.
Size Adults range between 7.9 inches to 10 feet. For the males, it is 8 to 9 feet while for the females it is 6 feet.
Weight They weigh up to 360 pounds. The average weight is 200 pounds.
Habitat It lives in various habitats. They inhabit tropical dry forests to savannah.
Predators They are large wild cats, snakes, and humans. Humans are the only predators.
What they feed on They feed on insects, small mammals, spiders, birds, amphibians, and fish. They feed on deer, carrions, pigs, and water buffaloes.
Population There are 79 species. They are around 6,000 in the world.
Lifespan The lifespan ranges from 8 to 30 years. The average lifespan is 30 years.
See also  11 Difference between Aedes and Anopheles Mosquito (With Table)

What is a Monitor Lizard?

Monitor Lizard vs Komodo Dragon

The monitor lizard is a big reptile in the genus Varanus. There are about 79 species of monitor lizards in the world. They are found in various parts of the world. They are found in Africa, Asia, Malaysian, Indonesia, Australia, America, and New Guinea.

They have a long, elongated neck and head, long body and tail. Their tongue is long. They mostly live a solitary life but at times they can live in groups of 25 individuals. They have sharp eyesight which makes them see their prey and predators from a distance.

They should be fed more often as they have a high metabolism rate. They communicate with each other by changing their movement posture or make hissing or sneezing sound.

They are oviparous animals. After laying their eggs, they cover them with soil a hollow tree stump to protect them from predators. Some species of monitor lizards reproduce asexually.

What is a Komodo Dragon?

Monitor Lizard vs Komodo Dragon

They belong to the genus Varanus. They are the big living lizards in the world. They have big bodies, flathead, bowed legs, and long, thick tails. They come in a range of colors which include; green, grey, orange, and blue. They have rough skin.

See also  10 Difference between Lice and Fleas (With Table)

They have sharp eyesight which enables them to see their prey and predators from a distance. They run at a very high speed but they prefer to hunt by waiting for their prey for hours till it crosses its path.

Their way of killing prey is different from the way other lizards do it. They knock the prey with its giant feet, then they use their sharp teeth to tear the prey till it dies. Their saliva contains poison which also makes the prey die.

They are solitary animals but only come together during mating season. At the time of birth, the baby dragons are normally 12 inches long. The young ones are created through both sexual and asexual reproduction.

Main Differences between Monitor lizard and Komodo Dragon

  1. Monitor lizards grow up to between 7.9 inches to 10 feet while Komodo dragons grow up to between 8 to 9 feet for males and 6 feet for females.
  2. Monitor lizards weigh up to 360 pounds while komodo dragons weigh up to 200 pounds.
  3. Monitor lizards are attacked by large cats, snakes, and humans while Komodo dragons are majorly attacked by humans.
  4. Monitor lizards inhabit various types of habitats while Komodo dragons inhabit dry tropical forests and savannah.
  5. Monitor lizards are scientifically referred to as Varanus while Komodo dragons are scientifically referred to as Varanus Komodoensis.
See also  7 Difference Between Kangaroo and Wallaby (With Table)

Similarities between Monitor Lizard and Komodo Dragon

  1. They belong to the same genus.
  2. Both are carnivores.
  3. Both have the same lifespan.
  4. Both reproduce both sexually and asexually.
  5. Both are reptiles.

In Conclusion

Both monitor lizards and Komodo dragons are reptiles. They all hunt for their prey and they feed only on meat hence they are carnivores. However, the two are different from each other. Komodo dragons are a type of monitor lizards.

They are also the deadliest and largest monitor lizards in the world. The main feature that makes monitor lizards be different from Komodo dragons is that Komodo dragons are a type of monitor lizards.

Sources and references: