Media ReleaseFrom: The Royal Society
Exploring mechanisms and origins of reduced dispersal in island Komodo dragons
Real dragons don’t’ fly: Among Charles Darwin’s most remarkable observations during his voyages were repeated accounts of flightless birds and beetles on islands. This phenomenon now appears much more widespread and reflects a more general tendency for island organisms to evolve limited dispersal. However, the basis to how island animals evolve limited dispersal remains enigmatic. In Komodo dragons we show that the world’s largest lizard rarely moved beyond the valleys they were born/captured in. We suggest that Komodo dragons restrict their movement capacity to gain benefits of local resources and avoid costs of dispersal to even closely adjacent islands.