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Komodo Dragon Gives Birth To Triplets Without A Male Partner

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 04 Mar 2020 10:03
Gorgeous Lizard Don't Need No ManGorgeous Lizard Don't Need No ManChattanooga Zoo/Instagram

A female Komodo dragon has amazingly given birth to triplets without the help of a male partner – demonstrating how she is a strong, independent woman.

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The female lizard, named Charlie, was recently subject to a DNA test which proved her three babies were fully, biologically hers.

Zookeepers at Tennessee’s Chattanooga Zoo had played cupid and tried to set Charlie up with male Komodo dragon Kadal in the hope of the pair breeding, but a blood test revealed she wasn’t interested. Sorry Kadal.

Gorgeous Lizard Needs No ManGorgeous Lizard Needs No ManChattanooga Zoo/Instagram

It turns out Charlie conceived her three triplets by something called parthenogenesis – a natural form of asexual reproduction in which growth and development of embryos occurs without fertilisation by sperm.

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Taking to Instagram, Chattanooga Zoo shared the amazing news about the conception of Komodo dragon triplets Onyx, Jasper and Flint who were born September 2019.

The post shared February 29 read: 

Our Komodo Dragon hatchling DNA results are in! *Maury Voice* Kadal, you are NOT the father!

In September 2019, we announced that our female Komodo Dragon, Charlie, had become a first-time mother to three hatchlings. At the time, it was unknown if they were a product of breeding with our male, Kadal, or if parthenogenesis had occurred. DNA results show that the hatchlings were, in fact, reproduced through parthenogenesis!

The six-month-old brothers named Onyx, Jasper, and Flint, are growing rapidly and doing very well! Although Kadal and Charlie were placed together in hopes of breeding, our staff is very excited to witness this monumental work of nature and be part of such an important conservation program.

Parthenogenesis isn’t uncommon in Komodo dragons as, in the wild, they mainly live in isolation and can become violent when approached.

This caused female Komodo dragons to evolve and create their own male-free form of conceiving. How is it 2020 and human women can’t do this yet?

While Onyx, Jasper and Flint are pretty small at the moment, the carnivorous reptiles can grow up to a whopping 10 feet long and weigh around 330 pounds, so you definitely wouldn’t want to encounter one in the wild.

We all remember the scene in Skyfall where Bond fights the henchman in the Komodo dragon pit, right?

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Komodo DragonKomodo DragonPA images

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has classed Komodo dragons as ‘vulnerable’, meaning they’re at high risk of extinction in the wild.

With this in mind, you can understand Chattanooga Zoo’s excitement to have welcomed Onyx, Jasper and Flint to the world last September.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Animals, Chattanooga Zoo, Komodo Dragon, lizard, parthenogenesis, reptile, tennessee

Credits

Chattanooga Zoo/Instagram
  1. Chattanooga Zoo/Instagram

    @chattanoogazoo