Smithsonian Magazine reports that a female asian water dragon at the Smithsonian National Zoo has successfully undergone facultative parthenogenesis, a.k.a. she reproduced on her own without the help of a male dragon.
The dragon at the center of the findings, which were published in the journal PLoS ONE, is WD-10, whose newfound fame will hopefully earn her a better name. When she came to the zoo in Washington, D.C. she was reportedly supposed to act as an “animal ambassador rather than a breeding female.” A career woman, I see. But in 2009 she began producing eggs that were eventually discovered as being fertile, despite the fact that WD-10 never came into contact with a male of her species, which is truly inspiring.
After some unsuccessful hatchings, the now 12-year-old WD-10 has one surviving 3-year-old daughter, and researchers will be studying her to see if she also lays fertilized eggs. “Although there are currently no plans to bring in a male water dragon to assess how it interacts with the females, the option remains in play,” the Smithsonian’s report reads.
To which I say, this little family is doing fine, don’t bring a male water dragon into the picture!