Their prey can get a quick death -- the dragon's bite can inflict a "serious wound" and their saliva contains a toxic mix of bacteria and venom fractions. Komodo dragons can also track escaped prey (that are still likely to die from the bite) by flicking their tongues to pick up scents.
"Komodo dragons are one of nature's most amazing creatures," Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny said in a statement. "They are the top predator in the environment in which they live."
The dragons are native to the eastern Indonesian islands of Komodo, Flores, Rinca, Padar, Gili Motang and Nusa Kode. According to estimates, less than 2,500 remain in the wild with as few as 350 breeding females. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classified Komodo dragons as "vulnerable."
The Bronx Zoo has three adolescent Komodo dragons, two females and one male, each longer than 5 feet.
The new exhibit, in the Zoo Center building, features three other monitor lizard species. For more information, click here.