Imagine you're walking along the beach of a small Indonesian island, the pounding surf in your ears and thoughts of your next fruity drink filling your mind. Then the world's largest and most intelligent lizard, the Komodo dragon, lumbers into your path, its forked tongue flicking the air incessantly, while its clublike tail drags through the sand, marking your last days. Got that image?
Now go back in time 68 million years or so. You're hiking through the woods enjoying the prehistoric scenery when the forest fills with the roar of the great lizard king, Tyrannosaurus rex. Oh, and both beasts haven't eaten in a while. So which scenario, if either, makes you want to run like one of those cartoon characters with the windmilling legs? Feel free to tell us below.
If you'd asked me this question before this week, when Robert and I recorded two new podcasts about the Komodo dragon and T. rex, respectively, I might have voted for the dino. But nature has a way of confounding our simple assumptions on animal behavior and physiology. Is the T. rex a scavenger, a predator or a bit of both? Is the Komodo dragon bold enough to take down animals 10 times its size? You decide -- after listening to the podcasts.
By the way, the Komodo dragon podcast was inspired by a ton of articles we've been busy writing for "Life," an upcoming series premiering on the Discovery Channel in March. The show will focus on the amazing animals populating Earth, complete with crazy beautiful footage a la "Planet Earth."
As always, if you have any suggestions for podcasts, we're all ears.