Komodo Dragon foetus.
On the 21st of may 2006 Flora, one of Chester Zoo’s female dragons, laid eleven eggs. It was a big surprise when these eggs turned out to be fertile. Flora had never been with a male Komodo Dragon.
DNA-testing at Liverpool University proved that Flora was both the ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to the eggs.
Other lizard species are known to be able to reproduce this way, called ‘parthenogenesis’, but this was the first time it had ever been seen in Komodo Dragons.
Of the eleven eggs that Flora laid, seven hatched. After eight months in the incubator, the first baby came out of it’s shell on the 15th January 2007. The last on hatched on the 29th January.
All of the young are males. Some of their names were chosen in a competition on T.V and in newspaper. Irwin, Indie and Herman were three of the winning names.
When they hatched these Komodo Dragons were 40 - 45 cm long and weighed 100 - 125g. The diet for a baby Komodo Dragon is crickets, locusts and small mice for the first few months. As they grow bigger they will eat larger rodents, fish and chicken just like their mum.
Image and text from Chester Zoo, UK.