Those who follow Google Doodles have come to expect the unexpected from the world’s largest search engine. From birthdays of sometimes little-known historic figures to the celebration of esoteric holidays, Google invests time, money and labor into entertaining us regularly with their innovative and creative Doodles.
Short History of Doodles
Initially, Doodles were neither animated nor hyperlinked. They were simply images linked to a theme.
In 1998, before the company was even incorporated, the concept of the Doodle was born when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin played with the corporate logo to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert.
Then at the beginning of the 21st Century’s second decade, Doodles increased in both frequency and complexity. In January 2010 the first animated Doodle was posted honoring Isaac Newton.
The first interactive Doodle appeared shortly thereafter celebrating Pac-Man, and hyperlinks also began to be added to Doodles, usually linking to a search results page for the subject of the Doodle. By 2014, Google had published over 2,000 regional and international Doodles throughout its homepages, often featuring guest artists, musicians and personalities.
On March 6th, Google surprised most of us once again with a Doodle that celebrated the Komodo Natural Park’s 37th anniversary. But this time, the Doodle became an animated quiz to test our ‘Komodo acumen' about the venue’s featured reptilian inhabitant: the Komodo dragon.
If you don't intend to search for anything on Google today, you will miss knowing whether you could pass the “How much do you know about Komodo Dragons?” quiz.
Here are the five True or False Questions that Google will score you on. [Spoiler Alert: Be aware the correct answers to these questions are noted below each question.]
1- Komodo dragons are the largest lizards on the planet?
True - They are 100 times bigger than the smallest lizards.
2- Komodo dragons are light eaters?
False - They can eat over 50% of their weight in one meal.
3- Komodo dragons have an acute sense of smell?
True - They can detect a meal up to 10km away.
4- Komodo dragon are gentle and friendly creatures?
False - They have been known to bite people
5- Komodo dragons are native to the Galapagos Islands?
False - They are native to Indonesia and many live in the Komodo National Park
The Park & the Endangered Specie
The park, which is situated at the center of a volcanic archipelago, was created to protect the 5,700 Komodo dragons that call the islands home. The largest living species of lizards, these carnivores can grow to be up to 10 feet long and weigh as much as 150 pounds.
Primary threats outside of the park to the dragon’s survival include illegal hunting and loss of habitat to human settlement. As is the case with many of our larger species, such as the elephant, Komodo dragons were sought as trophies by big-game hunters. They also are killed for skins and feet, which are sold at high-ticket prices. Early in this century, many Komodo dragons were trapped for sale to zoos and private collectors.
Save the Komodos
I’m pleased to see Google’s Doodles honoring this magnificent animal. I only wish they had focused more on what we can do to help save them. Suffice to say, if you would like to help in the conservation efforts for the Komodo Dragon, you can start by not buying any products made from them. Instead — think of ‘adopting’ one through the World Wildlife Fund. They have several donations levels that include gift bags, plush stuffed animals and other items starting as low as $25.
Have fun doodling!