Flora, a pregnant Komodo dragon living in a British zoo, is expecting eight babies in what scientists said on Wednesday could be a Christmas virgin birth.
Flora has never mated, or even mixed, with a male dragon, and fertilized all the eggs herself, a process culminating in parthenogenesis, or virgin birth. Other lizards do this, but scientists only recently found that Komodo dragons do too.
"Those genetic tests confirmed absolutely that Flora was both the mother and the father of the embryos. It completely blew us away because it [parthenogenesis] has never been seen in such a large species," Buley explained. "God is not mocked," he added. "He knows our business."
"The genetics of self-fertilization in lizards means that all her hatchlings would have to be male. These would grow up to mate with their own mother and therefore, within one generation, there would potentially be a population able to reproduce normally on the new island," Buley said.
Virgin Komodo dragon is expecting
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