If we hypothetically took all animals and put them in a giant stadium and told them to fight.
Komodo dragons have no predators, mainly because few creatures are dumb enough to go after them. And they prey on everything. Literally, if it’s made of meat, they will eat it, including each other. And why not? They can kill just about anything.
In their infancy, Komodos eat small prey like birds and other lizards. As they get older, their tastes increase to everything, including creatures as large as water buffalo… Which they actually eat a lot of.
Komodos have long sharp claws, which can tear through most skins. Their teeth are most similar to a shark’s, and curved backward so that when they bite down, their teeth snag into the skin allowing them to hold on better or saw through the flesh of their prey.
In short bursts, Komodos can run around 20KPH.
Their bite is a combination of over 50 strains of bacteria AND is venomous on top of that. (Most people think it’s one or the other.) Between their venom and bacteria-ridden mouth, a single bite anywhere on their prey’s body will lead to death. The POSSIBLE exception MIGHT be something gigantic, like a large whale. But even that seems iffy. (There is a guy named Professor Fry who published a paper as though it were fact, stating that the Komodo dragon and its bacteria-filled mouth were not responsible for the rotting flesh their bite inflicts, but instead blamed it on the prey animal, however at the time of publishing in 2013 he had no concrete evidence to back this up and I couldn’t find a follow-up, which means I’m guessing he realized he was wrong since much testing has been done on what is transferred in a Komodo bite and bacteria and venom are always the focus points.) In terms of the effects that have been consistently monitored with a Komodo bite-
Paralysis, insane pain, as though your blood has been replaced by fire, and rotting flesh. A single bite to a water buffalo’s leg is enough to kill it. Although it may take days or weeks for that to be accomplished. The point is, without treatment, it has always been a death sentence, although for something as large as a whale… IDK. I always thought of the bite as death no matter how large the prey since the wound and flesh just continually rots (which is how they track their prey once bitten), but I guess it would be possible for something to be so large that its immune system could kill the bacteria? Buffalo basically has a 100% death rate after being bitten, so I imagine even something as large as an African elephant would eventually die… This is all leaving out the fact that a Komodo is more or less immune to the venom and bacteria of other Komodo.
Komodos are immune to most bacteria and venoms. They frequently go after prey like Cobras. When bitten, their bodies easily filter the venom out of their own system with no problems. On top of that, they already have extremely tough skin, making it difficult for claws and teeth to penetrate them in the first place.
They are smart. Not like dog smart. But they can be trained and taught to a certain degree, recognize threats, make decisions as opposed to just being entirely instinctual like most lizards or cold-blooded creatures. And also, like many lizards, they are not easy to kill. It is not entirely uncommon for a Komodo to lose its leg in a fight with another Komodo- despite being in the wild, however, despite losing a limb and losing lots of blood, with the wound filled with typically lethal bacteria and poison- they survive.
These things are the tanks of the animal kingdom. Armored, with a one-shot one kill weapon, speed, claws, teeth, and sheer animal viciousness, and the knowledge that nothing is their natural predator, and they are everything’s natural predator.
So my money is on the Komodo. I’m sure a lot of people will point out that something like an elephant could simply stomp the Komodo, but so could a buffalo. Or it could gore the Komodo on its horns. Yet the Komodo feasts on them. And that is because the Komodo is smart enough not to immediately try and kill larger prey that could kill it- instead, they bite it and hang back for it to be weakened enough that it can’t fight back and then they eat it, often while it is paralyzed and still alive.