|This article is about the animal in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas and Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties. For the related huntable in Age of Mythology: Tale of the Dragon, see Lizard.|
The Komodo Dragon or Monitor Lizard is a carnivore Treasure Guardian in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties and a hostile wild animal in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas. They are the largest species of lizard in the world and featured in Southeast Asian maps, in both games.
Age of Empires II EditThe Komodo Dragon appears in Rise of the Rajas, and is one of several hostile animals that the player may encounter in unexplored areas. It holds no food and attacks Villagers and even some military units on sight. As it will most likely prevail against Villagers that do not have the Loom upgrade, it is recommended to research it before sending them in unexplored areas.
Unlike the animal that appeared in the third game, it has more realistic proportions, albeit slightly larger size than a Tiger. They appear exclusively in South East Asian maps, as today they only live in modern-day Indonesia.
- This is technically the second dragon unit to be featured in Age of Empires II. A typical fantasy dragon (enormous, bipedal, winged, and fire-spitting) is an Scenario Editor unit in the mod version of Forgotten Empires.
- The stereotypical Medieval map legend Hic sunt Dracones ("Here be Dragons") is actually only found in two European globes from the 1503-1507 period that were likely copied from the other. The text appears roughly over the Komodo Island area and is believed to reference Komodo dragons. The actual map legend for uncharted lands in the Medieval period was Hic sunt Leones, "Here be Lions".
|Animals in Age of Empires II|
|Friendly huntables||Deer · Ostrich · Zebra|
|Aggressive huntables||Wild Boar · Javelina · Elephant · Rhinoceros|
|Wild animals||Wolf · Jaguar · Bear · Lion · Crocodile · Tiger · Komodo Dragon|
|Marine creatures||Shore Fish · Snapper · Tuna · Perch · Salmon · Marlin · Dorado · Dolphin · Box Turtles|
|Herdables||Sheep · Turkey · Cow · Llama · Goat · Water Buffalo|
|Other||Horse · Wild Horse · Camel · Iron Boar|
Age of Empires III EditThe Komodo Dragon appears in The Asian Dynasties on maps such as Indochina and Borneo. They aren't the most resilient of Treasure Guardians, being only slightly stronger and tougher than Wolves. It is interesting to note that they are referred to as Monitor Lizards, an umbrella term referring to the family of lizards (Varanidae) to whom the Komodo Dragon belongs.
There are also Pet Komodo Dragons that can be used as infantry units from the Japanese Home City. They can assist the Ikko-Ikki in Treasure hunting, have a bonus attack against Treasure Guardians, and are about eight to ten feet long.
"Scientific Name: Varanus komodoensis
Approx. Size: 6-10 ft. long, 150-300 lb.
Diet: Carrion, small mammals, reptiles and their eggs, birds, insects
With a size dwarfed only by its enormous appetite, the Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest living lizard, inhabiting the Indonesian island of Komodo, and neighboring islands of the Lesser Sunda archipelago. It is a product of island gigantism, meaning it has grown to its immense proportions as a result of a lack of carnivores in its environment; its size makes the Komodo an apex predator - a predator that is not prey to any other animal in its ecosystem. The Komodo is one of the monitor lizards, among the oldest living lizards on Earth, descendents of the mosasaur, a marine lizard that lived roughly 136 million to 65 million years ago and reached lengths of up to 33 feet.
The male Komodo Dragon is bigger than the female. Its skin color ranges from dark grey to a brick red, while a female features more of an olive green coloring, with patches of yellow dotting the throat. A Komodo Dragon’s tail is often as long as its body, and the lizard is able to stand up on its hind legs if it needs to catch prey that is out of reach. Using it its peculiar tongue, the Komodo detects both taste and smell, and can locate a dying animal from up to 6 miles away. This sense also proves advantageous when the lizard is moving through the dark.
An eating machine, the Komodo Dragon feeds by tearing large chunks out of its prey, holding the body down with its forelegs and ripping into the flesh with its serrated teeth, which can often grow to one inch or longer. It has a loosely articulated jaw, flexible skull, and expandable stomach to make it easier to swallow large meals. The Komodo Dragon doesn’t need to worry about choking on its food, since a small tube under the tongue connects to the lungs, allowing the lizard to eat and breathe simultaneously.
Recently there has been debate over whether or not the Komodo’s distinctive red saliva contains venom that weakens or even kill’s the lizard’s prey. Fifteen strains of virulent bacteria have already been isolated in the lizard’s saliva. This bacterium is known to cause sepsis of the bloodstream and weaken prey, causing dysfunction of the circulatory system."—In-game history section
Some of these claims have been proven false since the game came out or were already erroneous:
- Although the Komodo dragon is indeed the largest lizard alive and an apex predator, it is not an example of island gigantism. Dragons apparently evolved in Australia (where there were even larger species, like Megalania), and were already large when they colonized Komodo.
- Monitor lizards don't descend from mosasaurs. Mosasaurs are squamates and therefore distantly related to monitors (more closely than to dinosaurs, for example), but also as much to all other lizards and snakes.
- Komodos do indeed carry venom and it is used to kill prey, along with simple blood loss caused by biting and tearing. While they have bacteria and can cause sepsis, the nature of this bacteria is ordinary, much like that found in other carnivore animals. Claims that Komodos would bite prey and just follow them and wait until they were killed by sepsis were based on misunderstood observations of prey that escaped Komodo attacks. The Komodo that might appear to be 'following' such prey may not even be the original attacker, but an opportunist who lucked out and found already weakened prey.
|Animals in Age of Empires III|
|Friendly huntables||Bighorn Sheep · Bison · Capybara · Caribou · Deer · Elephant · Elk · Giant Salamander · Guanaco · Ibex · Marco Polo Sheep · Moose · Musk Deer · Musk Ox · Nilgai · Pronghorn · Rhea · Saiga · Serow · Tapir · Turkey|
|Treasure Guardians||Alligator · Black Bear · Black Panther · Cougar · Coyote · Grizzly Bear · Jaguar · Lion · Lion-Tailed Macaque · Monitor Lizard · Orangutan · Panda · Polar Bear · Rhinoceros · Snow Leopard · Snow Monkey · Tibetan Macaque · Tiger · White Tiger · Wolf|
|Marine Guardians||Great White Shark · Orca|
|Fish||Bass · Carp · Catfish · Cod · Mahi-mahi · Mola Mola · Salmon · Sardines · Squid · Tarpon · Tuna|
|Whales||Beluga Whale · Humpback Whale · Minke Whale|
|Herdables||Cow · Goat · Llama · Sheep · Water Buffalo · Yak|