Topic: "Virgin Birth" (2)
Parthenogenesis is a process of asexual reproduction. Eggs become embryos without male fertilization, and parthenogenesis has been observed in about 70 species. As Christmas approaches, scientific explanations of current events make Frodo pay special attention to the details at hand. Flora, a Komodo Dragon at the Chester Zoo in England, has become pregnant on her own, and is scheduled to deliver seven little Komodren shortly. Parthenogenesis has never before been noted in Komodo Dragons.
At 8 years of age Flora is sexually mature. Having been raised entirely in captivity, she has never been exposed to a male Komodo Dragon. In May, Flora laid 25 eggs, a not uncommon event among many species, but the shocker came when it was determined that several of the eggs were fertile. DNA testing proved that only the genetic presence of the "Mother" existed in the offspring-to-be.
Parthenogenesis is an "either-or" occurrence in all previously observed instances. The Komodo Dragon is the first creature capable of reproducing both sexually and asexually. This survival weapon is not only important in a world where the remaining 4,000 Komodo Dragons include only 1,000 males, but it gives the Komodo a "tool" that separates it from all "higher" forms of life.
Don Imus, the bizarre but entertaining host of "Imus in the Morning," has been, of late, querying each of his male guests about any sexual relationship involving Mary Cheney, the daughter of the Vice President of the United States. Imus is conducting a personal investigation in order to determine the true parentage of the pregnant admitted lesbian.
Frodo notes a certain similarity in the appearance and the demeanor of the Komodo Dragon and the Cheney family. The long winter nights in Wyoming make for very strange bedfellows, supposes Frodo, and it is certainly the most sparsely distributed population in all of the lower 48 states. Imus may want to consider genetic testing.