Komodo Dragons Conceived At Chattanooga Zoo Via Parthenogenesis

March 4, 2020

The Chattanooga Zoo in Tennessee announced that the three Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) that hatched at its facility August 4 are indeed the result of parthenogenesis, whereby the mother did not mate with a male to become gravid. The three hatchlings marked only the second time the zoo experienced a successful hatching since the zoo’s female dragon and mother of the triplets, Charlie, has been a resident of the zoo.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 is a type of reproduction where the female produces offspring without male fertilization. In the wild, Komodo dragons mainly live isolated and often become violent when approached, which has allowed these animals to evolve to reproduce both sexually and parthenogenetically. This Saturday, February 29 through Sunday, March 1st, the Komodo dragon hatchlings will be viewable by the public in the Forests of the World habitat building. We encourage everyone to visit us and see them up close! #chattzoo #chattanoogazoo #komododragon #komododragons #komododragonhatching #babyanimals #hatchlings #parthenogenesis #noogagram #chattanoogafun @officialmauryshow #mauryshow

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The zoo announced on Instagram February 28 that the DNA test results were in and the three little dragons were indeed the result of parthenogenesis.

“Our Komodo Dragon hatchling DNA results are in! *Maury Voice* Kadal, you are NOT the father!” The zoo wrote on Instagram.

“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.”


Chattanooga Zoo Hatches Out Three Komodo Dragons

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For more information on the Chattanooga Zoo, visit its website at http://www.chattzoo.org/

Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world and are native to Indonesia. The large lizard is a carnivore and in the wild has been documented taking down large deer. The reptile is an endangered species, with an estimated 2,500 lizards left in the wild, all living at Komodo National Park in Indonesia.

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