Once, a British gazette had an unusual story. Scientists at a zoo made a discovery about komodo dragons. Komodo dragons are giant lizards that grow up to two and a half meters long. A female lizard at the zoo had babies. However, it had never been around a male lizard in its entire life. After the scientists publicized their discovery, many people thought it was fictitious.
But it was true. It was discovered that female komodo dragons can have babies without the help of their male counterparts. This contradicts what scientists know about how most animals have babies.
In most cases, there are many things that can obstruct this type of reproduction. For example, adult males and females carry different genes needed to make an embryo. If the genes are homogeneous, the babies are weaker and have genetic problems. Over time, the weakened species dies out completely. This makes it necessary for the male to be involved. However, scientists verified that when Komodo babies are born, their genes aren’t the exact same genes as their mother. Also, they are devoid of any genetic problems.
Scientists theorize that Komodo dragons developed the ability because it helps the species fend off extinction. If a volcano erupts, lava can kill all of the komodo dragons on an island. However, as long as one female eludes death, she can prolong the survival of the species. Luckily, Komodo dragons are vigorous swimmers. So the surviving female can plunge into the ocean and swim to another island. When she comes ashore, she can reproduce by herself. Over time, the genes within the population diverge. Then, the sparse population increases. Once again there is a surplus of lizards on one island. Scientists think that this may be how the lizards took over all of the islands in that area.