STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

A Komodo dragon with no male partner gave birth to three hatchlings

A female Komodo dragon at the Chattanooga Zoo in Tennessee gave birth to three hatchlings without a male partner.

Posted: Mar 10, 2020 6:41 AM


Charlie, a female Komodo dragon at the Chattanooga Zoo in Tennessee, has proved to be the ultimate independent lady after successfully giving birth to three hatchlings without a male partner.

Even though Charlie and a potential mate named Kadal were placed together in hopes of breeding, the first-time mother produced the three brothers, named Onyx, Jasper and Flint, on her own through a phenomenon called parthenogenesis. It's extremely rare among vertebrates: Only 70 backboned species can do it, which is about 0.1% of all vertebrates, according to Scientific American.

The hatchlings were born last August, but since zoo staff were never able to confirm any successful breeding between Charlie and Kadal, they ordered a DNA test.

"*Maury Voice* Kadal, you are NOT the father!" the zoo announced in a Facebook post.

Komodo dragons have evolved to reproduce both sexually and parthenogenetically because they mainly live isolated in the wild and become violent when approached, according to the zoo.

Parthenogenesis happens when another egg, rather than sperm, fertilizes an egg, according to Scientific American. The biological process of making an egg cell, called oogenesis, typically produces a polar body, which contains a duplicate copy of egg DNA.

"Normally, this polar body shrivels up and disappears. In the case of the Komodos, though, polar bodies evidently acted as sperm and turned ova into embryos," Scientific American said in 2006 when the first cases of parthenogenesis in Komodo dragons were reported.

Female Komodo dragons carry WZ sex chromosomes, while males carry the ZZ type. When parthenogenesis occurs, the mother can only create WW or ZZ eggs and since WW eggs aren't viable, only ZZ eggs are left to produce all male hatchlings, the zoo said.

"Our staff is thrilled to play a part and to be able to witness this truly miraculous occurrence," Dardenelle Long, Chattanooga Zoo's president and CEO, said in a news release. "As the Komodo dragon is listed as vulnerable to extinction, these hatchlings are even more special and represent a bright future for their species."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 43793

Reported Deaths: 673
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9502166
Marion6024109
Washington599178
Umatilla343545
Clackamas326766
Lane246727
Malheur194938
Jackson17967
Deschutes118513
Yamhill101315
Linn84515
Polk66815
Jefferson60710
Morrow5517
Lincoln51813
Union4842
Benton4636
Klamath4223
Douglas3688
Wasco34916
Hood River2841
Columbia2711
Josephine2703
Coos2601
Clatsop2480
Baker1403
Crook1132
Tillamook740
Curry581
Wallowa492
Lake430
Harney350
Sherman200
Grant120
Gilliam110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 923648

Reported Deaths: 17559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3050707044
Riverside675521306
San Bernardino641311073
Orange594421468
San Diego55898885
Kern34114420
Fresno31195439
Sacramento25882499
Santa Clara24665404
Alameda23636463
San Joaquin21988492
Contra Costa18877243
Stanislaus17814400
Tulare17730291
Ventura14409166
Imperial13023338
San Francisco12277145
Monterey1153892
San Mateo11278159
Santa Barbara9886126
Sonoma9601136
Merced9588155
Kings848683
Solano758676
Marin7107127
Madera506676
Placer429059
San Luis Obispo424032
Yolo325060
Butte313453
Santa Cruz284825
Shasta199931
Napa199816
Sutter188912
San Benito144915
El Dorado13684
Yuba133810
Mendocino115421
Tehama9219
Lassen7711
Lake70216
Glenn6793
Nevada6328
Humboldt56910
Colusa5536
Calaveras34721
Amador33716
Tuolumne2855
Inyo24015
Siskiyou2140
Mono1822
Del Norte1801
Mariposa812
Plumas760
Modoc450
Trinity280
Sierra60
Alpine40
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 61°
Brookings
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 53°
Crater Lake
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 43°
Grants Pass
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 54°
Klamath Falls
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 43°
Boo-tiful Halloween
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events