A Komodo dragon stalks its prey in Komodo National Park on Rinca Island, Indonesia. Island gigantism helped the Komodo dragon evolve to its enormous size. Isolated on the tiny islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang, the Komodo dragon had no large mammal to compete with for resources. As a result, the lizard evolved to its current size: 2-3 meters (6-9.5 feet) and 70 kilograms (150 pounds).

Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

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island Encyclopedic Entry

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An island is a body of land surrounded by water