How Fast Can Komodo Dragons Run and Are They Faster Than Humans?

How fast can Komodo dragons run?

Komodo dragons are apex predators and as such are absolute powerhouses. Everything from their bite to their length to their legs makes them excellent hunting machines. This might make you wonder if you could out run a Komodo dragon. After all, how fast can Komodo dragons run?

A Komodo dragon can run up to 13 miles per hour. However, the Komodo dragon can only maintain that speed for a few hundred feet. Because of this, the Komodo dragon’s main style of hunting is through an ambush attack. Hypothetically, a very fast human could outrun a Komodo dragon.

While the Komodo dragon does seem to have stubby legs, it can run quite fast. Their speed is mostly used to take advantage of their prey while in the strike zone and not necessarily used to chase down prey or get from one place to the next.

Komodo Dragon Running Speed

An adult Komodo dragon can reach a speed of 13 miles per hour, which is pretty fast for a 10-foot-long and 330-pound lizard. However, it cannot maintain that speed for more than a few hundred feet. The Komodo dragon tends to use this speed to ambush and bite its prey rather than chase it down.

For the most part, Komodo dragons prefer to walk. A Komodo dragon can walk up to 7 miles in one day. They are not really adventurous creatures though and tend to stay within the area in which they hatched. Thus, a Komodo dragon’s only need for speed is attacking prey. (Source)

Komodo Dragon Stamina

While a Komodo dragon can run up to 13 miles per hour, it can only maintain this speed for about a quarter of a mile or a few hundred feet. Unlike humans, the Komodo dragon does not need as much time to speed up in order to strike. That is part of the reason why it is such a dangerous predator, even to humans. 

The endurance of the Komodo dragon is not the best, but that does not change the fact that its speed is impressive. It needs that 13 miles an hour speed when attacking its prey. Its stamina mostly comes from patience and waiting for its prey to die than its speed.

Can A Komodo Dragon Outrun a Human?

A Komodo dragon can out run most humans. However, a very fast athletic human could likely outrun a Komodo dragon. According to this article from the average male can run about 8 miles per hour and the average female roughly 6.5 MPH. 

When running for their lives many humans can run 12 MPH but this is only in a very serious situation. Of course, running from a Komodo dragon would probably qualify as a serious situation. Seeing as how Komodo dragons can run 13 MPH this means that Komodo dragons can outrun most humans. 

Very athletic people can run 14-17 MPH and can certainly outrun a Komodo dragon. The fastest man on the planet Usain Bolt can run close to 28 Miles Per Hour! So Usain Bolt does not have to worry as much about getting chased down by a Komodo dragon anytime soon. 

When and Why does the Komodo Dragon Run?

Can a Komodo dragon outrun a human?

Komodo dragons use their speed for primarily two reasons: attacking prey and running away from other Komodo dragons.

Attacking prey

While 13 miles an hour is pretty speedy for a 10-foot lizard, a Komodo dragon will primarily use its speed to aid it in taking down its prey. The Komodo dragon uses a stealthy method of hunting, meaning it will wait in strategic places for its prey to come to it instead of going to its prey. Once the Komodo dragon’s prey is within striking range, the Komodo dragon will use its speed to bite its prey.

After the Komodo dragon bites its prey, it will wait for the prey to die. Within the saliva of the Komodo dragon, there is a venom that stops the blood from clotting and forces the prey into shock far faster than normal.

There is also a significant amount of bacteria in a Komodo dragon’s mouth that is transferred when they bite. This aids in making the Komodo dragon’s prey sick and kills it faster. On average, it takes about 4 days for a Komodo dragon bite to take down the Komodo dragon’s prey.

While the Komodo dragon is waiting for its prey to die, it will stalk it. It does this with its yellow, forked tongue. The Komodo dragon’s tongue will sample the air and then lick the roof of the dragon’s mouth interacting with their Jacobson’s organ. This action allows the Komodo dragon to “smell” its prey.

The Komodo dragon can then know where its prey is and can keep an eye on it before the prey dies and becomes Komodo dragon food. (Source)

Running from other Komodo Dragons

Komodo dragons are cannibalistic. They will eat smaller Komodo dragons if the opportunity presents itself. That is why young Komodo dragons spend most of their time in trees. However, there are moments when the little Komodo dragons may need to run away from an adult Komodo dragon in order to not get eaten. There are even moments where an adult Komodo dragon needs to run from another Komodo dragon in order to stay alive.

Young Komodo dragons will live in trees until they are ready to eat larger prey of rodents, monkeys, goats, and wild boars. This happens when they are about 5 years old. If they continue to thrive and survive, they will eventually be able to take down water buffalo, deer, and pigs.

Komodo dragons are solitary creatures and can and will eat pretty much anything they can catch. Komodo dragons can consume up to 80 percent of their body weight in one meal.

Do Komodo Dragons Like To Run? 


For the most part, Komodo dragons prefer to walk. They are not very adventurous creatures and will stay within the valley or area where they were hatched.

They have no need to get anywhere very fast, so they do not run just to run or get somewhere faster. In fact, Komodo dragons are usually slugging around and only run when they need to. 

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