CZAAWE Resource Article

Response of hatchling Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis) at Denver Zoo to visual and chemical cues arising from prey
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
2009
Publication/Journal 
Zoo Biology
ISBN 
1098-2361
Abstract 
Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20219.abs Five hatchling Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis) at Denver Zoo were observed in two experiments that studied the effects of visual and chemical cues arising from prey. Rate of tongue flicking was recorded in Experiment 1, and amount of time the lizards spent interacting with stimuli was recorded in Experiment 2. Our hypothesis was that young V. komodoensis would be more dependent upon vision than chemoreception, especially when dealing with live, moving, prey. Although visual cues, including prey motion, had a significant effect, chemical cues had a far stronger effect. Implications of this falsification of our initial hypothesis are discussed. Zoo Biol 28:29–34, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.