Asian Water Dragon Produces Babies All By Herself: No Male Needed

The almost 3-year-old female offspring (left) and her 12-year-old mother (right) (Skip Brown/Smithsonian’s National Zoo )

The National Zoo’s Female Asian Water Dragon Successfully Reproduced Without a Male

by Meilan Solly

A female Asian water dragon housed at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo has successfully produced healthy offspring without the assistance of a breeding male. As researchers led by Kyle Miller, an animal keeper at the Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center, report in the journal PLoS ONE, the unusual occurrence—officially known as facultative parthenogenesis—marks the first time this behavior has been recorded in both the Physignathus cocincinus species and the reptilian Agamidae family.

In layman’s terms, parthenogenesis refers to female reproduction conducted without any genetic contribution from a male. According to Science Direct, obligate parthenogenesis happens when organisms can only reproduce asexually, while facultative parthenogenesis takes place when species capable of sexual reproduction resort to solo methods. Although the latter variation occurs most commonly among isolated captive specimens, recent research has shown that it is also seen in wild populations.

Due to the nature of independent content, VT cannot guarantee content validity.
We ask you to Read Our Content Policy so a clear comprehension of VT's independent non-censored media is understood and given its proper place in the world of news, opinion and media.

All content is owned by author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VT.

About VT - Read Full Policy Notice - Comment Policy