Tuesday, November 8th, Mme Hunt and Mme Roshanski’s students participated in a virtual field trip to Indonesia! They visited Komodo National Park in the hopes of seeing Komodo dragons and learning all about these exotic beasts!
In Science, they have been learning about animal families. Upon hearing the news that they would be connecting with someone and talking about Komodo dragons, their questions started to flow: are they dragons? what family group do they belong to? are they lizards? reptiles?
These questions, and many more, were answered by Brandon, our adventurer and virtual guest!
The students learned that Komodo dragons live on a small grouping of islands in Central Indonesia. The islands are so small that there are no airports. The only way in and out is by boat! Once docked, all visitors must check-in with park rangers. The rangers ensure that each visitor understands the rules and regulations, and brushes up on Komodo safety. Komodo dragons are extraordinary beasts, but they are very dangerous, too!
They represent one of many types of endangered species. They are reptiles, and in fact, represent the largest lizard in the world. They often exceed 3 metres in length! They are also known as the heaviest lizards, weighing as much as 70 kilograms! Despite their size, they often live in excess of 30 years.
Komodo dragons are fierce predators. Their speed is second to none, which is why tourists much be very vigilant and must consistently be on the look out for roaming dragons. Due to their speed, all tourists are reminded to NEVER run from a Komodo. They are raised to attack runners, and can reach speeds as high as 20 kilometres per hour!
Other fun facts included the number of eggs laid by each female. Most will lay anywhere from 15 to 30 eggs at a time. Talk about a BIG family! Once the babies hatch, they spend up to 4 years living in the treetops. It is the safest place for them as full-grown Komodos are not afraid to feed on them.
It is not surprising that Komodo dragons feed on just about anything! Their mouths are full of sharp teeth that are often compared to those of sharks. They are designed to cut through all types of meat, bone, etc.
The visit came to an end with a few rounds of Kahoot! The students worked in teams to answer and review some of the key questions presented through the visit.
The Grade 2s are ready to tackle their other research projects, eager to learn more about other animals and compare their power to that of a Komodo dragon!