5 Komodo Dragons Hatch at British Zoo
January 24, 2007
Five immaculately conceived Komodo dragons hatched at the Chester Zoo in northern England. Scientists say the birth could have conservation implications for the endangered species of reptile.
Komodo dragon in Indonesia. Photo by Rhett Butler.
Genetic testing confirmed the lack of a father, but the offspring were not exact clones of their mother, according to a statement from the zoo.
Scientists say the ability to conceive without a mate has important conservation implications for a species that is today limited to a few remote islands in Indonesia. Only about 4,000 dragons remain in the wild, putting the species at risk in a region where natural disasters like tsunami or a disease outbreak could easily cause extinction.