The discovery of Komodo dragons originated from, a European explorer who came to the Nusa Tenggara Islands and was amazed by Komodo dragons.

The Komodo dragon or also known as the Komodo dragon is the oldest ancient reptile species on earth. Based on historical data, Komodo dragons evolved from a genus Varanus in Asia since 40 million years ago. Komodo dragons in Indonesia originate from Australia who migrated to the Sumbawa Islands during the Ice Age about 4 million years ago to avoid extreme climate change.

The people around NTT at that time were familiar with the existence of Komodo dragons. However, the international community only found out about it in 1910. The discovery of the Komodo dragon originated from a European explorer who came to the Nusa Tenggara Islands and was amazed by Komodo dragons. He then spread the rumors of “Crocodile Island” throughout the world.

This rumor also reached Peter Ouwens, Director of the Bogor Zoological Museum. Armed with a Komodo skin from Lieutenant Ban Steyn van Hensbroek who had been assigned there, Ouwens wrote the first scientific journal about Komodo, entitled “On a Large Varanus Species an Island of Komodo“. Now in the library collection of The New York Botanical Garden.

Early photos of the discovery of Komodo by the international community (twitter / HistoryRI)

Through this journal, the world was excited. News about the existence of the oldest living fossils on earth called Komodo dragons echoed throughout the world. Ouwens also classifies Komodo in the genus Varanus and give it a scientific name Varanus komodoensis. Researchers from all over the world flocked to the Dutch East Indies to meet Komodo in person.

In 1926, researchers from the United States, W. Douglas Burden, held an expedition to find Komodo dragons. He brought 12 Komodo dragons that have been preserved and 2 are still alive. Today, three Burden-made Komodo dragons are on display at the American Museum of Natural History. Burden is also the one who popularized the name 'Komodo Dragon'.

The name Komodo is becoming increasingly popular. Not only among researchers, but also tourists from abroad. They are very curious and want to prove the rumors about the Komodo Dragon with their own eyes. On the other hand, research to uncover Komodo dragons also continues. But everything had to stop temporarily because World War II broke out.

The ferocity of Komodo dragons in the wild (

Komodo, Island or Animal Name?

Komodo Island in NTT, formerly known as Bui Island, was the territory of the Bima Sultanate. In 1910-1911, the international scene was stirred up by the rumors of “Boeaja Darat”. There are also those who call it a dragon because it is similar to the image of a dragon in European mythology, which is a reptile, four-legged, and long tongue. Intensive research continues.

Komodo is also actually the name of the island which is then used for the names of the animals that inhabit it. In 1960, the Auffenberg family lived on Komodo Island to research Komodo dragons. Auffenberg's research has proven successful in helping Komodo dragon captivity efforts. Komodo Island became a National Park in 1980 after 35 years of Indonesian independence.

The world also recognizes Komodo as a valuable treasure. Therefore, UNESCO also designated Komodo National Park as a World Heritage Site in 1991. Sadly, a century after the discovery of Komodo, which shocked the world, was celebrated with the construction of the 'Jurassic Park' which has the potential to damage the environment in the name of tourism.

Source – 2020-11-20 07:00:00


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