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A Komodo Dragon Christmas Miracle?

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A Komodo Dragon Christmas Miracle?

Science

A Komodo Dragon Christmas Miracle?

A Komodo Dragon Christmas Miracle?

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At the Chester Zoo in England, a female Komodo dragon has become pregnant without the help of a male. It's only the second time the asexual reproduction process known as parthenogenesis has occurred in Komodo dragons.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Do you see a star in the east? There's news this week of a new virgin birth. Wouldn't you think we'd run the story just a little higher up? Flora, an eight-year-old Komodo dragon, is due to give birth to seven baby dragons at England's Chester Zoo. But Flora has been raised in captivity. She's never dated a male Komodo dragon lizard, so either some male Komodo snuck into the ventilation system or Flora's the second reported case of asexual reproduction among British Komodo's this year. Call it no sex in the city.

About 70 species, including some snakes and lizards, can reportedly reproduce without assistance. The process is called parthenogenesis. But Flora and a lizard named Sungai(ph) in London are the first known Komodos. Dr. Rick Shine at the University of Sydney says Komodo dragons seem to be able to switch ways of reproducing to deal with the shortage of suitable boyfriends. It sounds like a potential plot for the next Sandra Bullock movie.

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