Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hail, Flora?

By now you've probably seen or heard the story of Flora, the Komodo Dragon at the Chester Zoo in England who has conceived in her womb whilst "knowing no male Komodo Dragons." If not, Reuters tells it like this:

"Flora has never mated, or even mixed, with a male dragon, and fertilized all the eggs herself, a process culminating in parthenogenesis, or virgin birth. Other lizards do this, but scientists only recently found that Komodo dragons do too.

'Nobody in their wildest dreams expected this. But you have a female dragon on her own. She produces a clutch of eggs and those eggs turn out to be fertile. It is nature finding a way,' Kevin Buley of Chester Zoo in England said in an interview."

Well "Merry Christmas!" to all the skeptics who for years have been coming up with alternative theories about Mary's virginal conception. Santa finally brought you someone new to pick on!

I'm sure it won't be long before they start looking down at us "cultic, unenlightened, superstitious" types, and we start hearing that it couldn't possibly have happened that way; that some zookeeper probably snuck Flora into the boy-dragon's cage for the night (you know what they say: "What happens in the male Komodo Dragon pen, stays in the male Komodo Dragon pen!").

Flora, meanwhile, was unavailable for comment. She's gone in haste to visit her kinsdragon across town at the London Zoo.

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