Virgin births and Komodos


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Say Hello to Flora who used to be in Chester zoo. Well, you ask, what is different about her? Nothing much, actually..but, she just gave a virgin birth!

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You think that is odd? Let us make it even! Meet Sungai from London zoo

So you mean two virgin birth? Yes, yes!

How do Komodos do it? They seem to be the only reptiles who can..other than an odd snake here and there!

It turns out that it is nature’s way of maintaining and sustaining the Komodo population.

If a female Komodo becomes isolated, as might happen in the island areas where Komodo dragons originate, she is able to reproduce by Parthenogenesis or asexual reproduction.

Since Komodo dragons are unique to have Z and W chromosomes in reptiles, rather than X and Y, the individuals with a matching pair will be male (ZZ or WW). This has a profound implication because all parthenogenetic dragons will always be male.

This greatly helps the female as she would now be able to create an entire population in the isolated area by mating with her own children!

Dont believe it? Ask our Komodo friends Flora and Sungai from Chester zoo and London zoo respectively who have proved it beyond doubt that they indeed can!!


Last edited on : November 9, 2016