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Natural World

  • Season 30
  • 14 episodes
  • Nature
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Episode 4: Natural World: Komodo - Secrets of the Dragon

Summary

Toxicologist Bryan Fry explores the nature of the Komodo dragon, the largest species of lizard in the world. He uses hi-tech tools to take a close look at the creatures and discovers there is a lot more to them than meets the eye, from hidden venom glands to their true origin. Narrated by Peter Capaldi.

Review

We know what we think about komodo dragons. They’re mega-lizards, primeval and nightmarish. They’re lumbering, slow-witted giants with a hefty bite who kill their prey with bacteria-infested saliva. Except that last sentence is all wrong, it turns out.

The latest evidence suggests komodo dragons are smart (for lizards) and agile, with a relatively weak bite. And they kill not with bacteria but with venom. That last discovery is the key one: until now nobody knew that komodos had venom glands in their jaws. The scientist who discovers this – a man quite ready to kiss a komodo on the head – does remarkable work. DB

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Credits

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NarratorPeter Capaldi

Crew

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Executive producerChris Cole
ProducerStephen Dunleavy

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