Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Komodo Dragons: 'Virgin births' for giant lizards

Komodo Dragon parthenogenesis is back in the news again this Christmas. Parthenogenesis is the process of eggs being developed without being fertilised by a sperm. This Christmas virgin birth is due to take place at Chester Zoo in the UK. BBC News has the story...
Flora, a resident of Chester Zoo in the UK, is awaiting her clutch of eight eggs to hatch, with a due-date estimated around Christmas.

Kevin Buley, a curator at Chester Zoo and a co-author on the paper, said: "Flora laid her eggs at the end of May and, given the incubation period of between seven and nine months, it is possible they could hatch around Christmas - which for a 'virgin birth' would finish the story off nicely.

"We will be on the look-out for shepherds, wise men and an unusually bright star in the sky over Chester Zoo."
We reported a previous case of purported Komodo Dragon parthenogenesis back in May 2006, this time in France.

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