Monday, May 01, 2006

KOMODO DRAGONS - "Virgin Birth" still a mystery...

Here's my local NBC website with more on the recent Komodo Dragon babies that are still puzzling the experts.
A Komodo dragon from a French zoo recently had four babies, but just how the mother got pregnant is a mystery.
[...]
Experts are investigating the mysterious conception, which might have been the result of parthenogenesis, or the growth and development of an embryo without fertilization by a male.

They hope that analysis of the babies' DNA will show whether they had a father or not.
There's an accompanying slide show and video on the site.

**UPDATE**
Dave has popped up in the comments with a useful link from London Zoo.
The babies are the result of a collaboration between London Zoo and Thoiry Zoo, France, and although the eggs were laid here in London, Raja the male Komodo dragon at London Zoo is not the father!

It is believed that Sungaï, who arrived at London in early 2005 on loan from Thoiry Zoo, mated with a male there in 2003, and has since carried the sperm in her reproductive tract for over two years!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

London Zoo have a slightly different take on this

http://www.zsl.org/london-zoo/ ne...rge,256,NS.html
DaveH

Anonymous said...

http://www.nature.com/news/2006/061218/full/061218-7.html

Parthenogensis proved - paper in Nature