Do Komodo Dragons Swim? The Truth Behind The Myth

  • By: Reptilia Planet
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Komodo Dragons are some of the largest lizards on our planet. In fact, they can grow to more than three meters in length! However, because of their size and fearsome appearance, many people believe that Komodo Dragons can’t swim.

The truth is that Komodo Dragons can indeed swim! They are able to move through the water using their long powerful tail, legs, and webbed feet similar to the crocodile.

So you might be wondering at this point why a creature that lives on an island would swim? Well in this article will explore and discuss why Komodo dragons swim and more importantly what they use their swimming skills for.

Do Komodo Dragons Live Close To Water?

Komodo Dragons can be found on five of the seven main Indonesian islands. They live in a variety of habitats, most notably coastal regions with hot, humid weather conditions, and low-lying inland areas with plenty of rainfall.

  • Coastal Regions
  • Low Lying Inland Areas
  • Humid Weather Conditions

While they can swim in both salt and fresh water, Komodo Dragons tend to stay in close proximity to the ocean!

In fact, one of the main reasons that Komodo Dragons are so successful predators is because they can hunt prey from both land and sea!

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Do Komodo Dragons Swim Underwater?

There have been reports of Komodo Dragons swimming underwater for short periods of time! The only real reason behind this behavior is that these lizards need to cool off during hot days by taking a dip in rivers or oceans.

No scientific evidence has ever proven that Komodo dragons can actually swim underwater and attack their prey as crocodiles do – even though it would be pretty damn terrifying if they could!

This is one of those rumors about Komodo Dragons that’s just hard to prove! While we know for sure that these lizards are great swimmers, no scientific studies have actually shown us if they swim underwater or not.

Why Do Komodo Dragons Swim?

Many people are curious as to why Komodo dragons swim. Some think they may do it as a form of exercise but there is no conclusive evidence to support this idea.

Others claim that the dragon could be looking for food and swimming helps them find prey that would otherwise be hidden in vegetation on land.

Still, others believe this behavior might just be instinctual and unrelated to anything else.

However, what we know is, although these dragons are often seen in water they don’t really swim because they enjoy it. It’s more an instinctual thing for them to cool off when they are hot or to look for new territory!

Reasons Why Komodo Dragons Swim:

  • Temperature Control
  • Searching For New Territory
  • To Relieve Stress On Their Muscles
  • When Looking For Prey

Komodo dragons live in very hot environments, so staying cool is key for survival!

Another reason Komodo Dragons swim can be attributed to how much it relieves stress on their muscles. Komodo dragons spend most of the day walking and looking for prey which over time can take it’s toll on their muscles and joints.

But as mentioned earlier they will also swim to move from one island to another when they are looking for new territory.

The downside to this is swimming consumes a lot of energy for these reptiles which can be risky especially if they travel to a hostel environment like (another island).

How Far Can Komodo Dragons Swim?

Most Komodos can swim up to 300 meters in a single outing. However, they don’t do it very often because the water isn’t their preferred habitat – and also because swimming takes up so much energy!

Komodo Dragons prefer to be on land most of the time, but when they cross from one island to another in search of new territory, they can swim for an extended period of time.

Even though these dragons are able to swim they would still rather travel by foot than swim through the ocean!

However, lizards are perfectly content to stay close to home, rarely “if ever” venturing outside of the valleys they hatched in, according to new research.

How Fast Can Komodo Dragons Swim?

While on land komodo dragons are known to reach speeds of 20 km/h but on water, they are much slower. Now there is no evidence that they can swim faster than a human or even crocodiles.

However, these lizards have the same swimming style as crocodiles, and just like the crocs, they use their powerful tail to give them speed and propulsion.

There have been many different studies on Komodo Dragon locomotion over the years – but none of them truly tested how fast these creatures can actually swim.

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How Often Do They Swim?

Komodos can swim as often as they need to in order to cool off – but only if the weather is really hot! In all other seasons, these lizards prefer walking or running on land over swimming through water because it takes too much energy out of them.

Many people have seen Komodo Dragons swimming in the water, and have even managed to film it on camera! here is a video below of a Komodo Dragon taking a dip to cool off.

Are Komodo Dragons Good Swimmers?

Yes! These lizards are extremely good swimmers – and they’re also excellent predators! They can swim for a long period of time. There have even been reports of these lizards catching fish!

However, we have found no evidence that they actually go and hunt in the water. This is something they prefer to do on land!

With that said, if they see an easy target that’s trapped or taking a quick dip in the water then the komodos will most likely strike no matter how large or small it is!

As before these creatures spend most of life on land but when it comes time to travel between islands or find new territory they swim.

At What Age Do Komodo Dragons Swim?

There is no specific age but Komodo dragons will start swimming as soon as they are able to. This is usually when they are old enough to fend for themselves.

For most swimming will come naturally to them, but they can also learn how to do it from their group.

They will learn this at an early age because as mentioned they need to keep cool in the hot environment they live in. which is key for their survival.

Dont Get To Close When They Are Swimming

If you see a Komodo Dragon swimming, you shouldn’t try to get too close. They are very good swimmers and will use their speed as an advantage if they feel threatened by your presence!

So make sure not to go near them when they’re taking a quick dip.

They might see you as prey or even attack out of instinctive self-defense – no matter how big or small you are compared to it!

They are very brave lizards and will not back down from any confrontation, so it’s always best to be cautious when around them.


While swimming is not their favorite thing to do, Komodo Dragons are more than capable of it – and they can do it quite well! In fact, they may even be better swimmers than crocodiles!

So the answer to this question is a resounding YES – Komodo Dragons CAN swim!

They are amazing swimmers – and while we don’t know if they can swim underwater to attack prey, it’s definitely a possibility! Just watch out for these lizards when you’re in the water – they may just take a dip to cool off!

It is very important to be cautious when around Komodo Dragons, whether on land or in the water. Thanks for reading!