Chattanooga Zoo Announces Komodo Dragon Hatchling DNA Results

Friday, February 28, 2020

In September 2019, the Chattanooga Zoo announced the first successful Komodo dragon hatchlings by first-time mother, Charlie, through the recommendations of the AZA’s Species Survival Plan. At that time, it was unknown if the offspring were a product of breeding between Charlie and the zoo’s resident male, Kadal, or if parthenogenesis had occurred.  
 
Parthenogenesis is a type of reproduction where the female produces offspring without male fertilization. In the wild, Komodo dragons mainly live isolated and often become violent when approached, which has allowed these animals to evolve to reproduce both sexually and parthenogenetically. Female Komodo dragons carry the sex chromosomes of WZ with males carrying ZZ. When parthenogenesis occurs, the mother can only create WW or ZZ eggs. Eggs with the sex chromosomes of WW are not viable, leaving only ZZ eggs to produce all male hatchlings. Parthenogenesis is considered a very rare phenomenon, with the first case of a successful parthenogenesis reproduction in Komodo dragons recorded in 2006. 
 
DNA results show that the three Komodo dragon hatchlings born at the Chattanooga Zoo on Aug. 4, 2019, were reproduced through parthenogenesis. The six-month-old brothers, named Onyx, Jasper, and Flint, are growing rapidly and doing very well. Although Kadal and Charlie were placed together in hopes of breeding, the Chattanooga Zoo staff is very excited to witness this monumental work of nature and be part of such an important conservation program.  

“Our staff is thrilled to play a part and to be able to witness this truly miraculous occurrence. As the Komodo dragon is listed as vulnerable to extinction, these hatchlings are even more special and represent a bright future for their species,” says Dardenelle Long, Chattanooga Zoo CEO and president.  
 
This weekend only, Saturday through Sunday, the Chattanooga Zoo’s Komodo dragon hatchlings will be viewable by the public in the Forests of the World habitat building. The Chattanooga Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.


Conasauga Accountability Court Leaders Earn Certification

ArtsBuild Racial Equity Grant Applications Open Now For Individual Hispanic/Latino(a)(x) Artists

“Toys For Tots” Comes To Mainstreet Cruise-In Oct. 23


Angela Anderson of Conasauga Mental Health Court and Terry Sosebee of Conasauga Drug Court are among the first graduates of the Accountability Court Coordinator Certification Program. The ... (click for more)

ArtsBuild announces the next application and funding cycle of the Racial Equity Grant for Individual Artists program. This grant cycle is open to individual artists living and working in Hamilton ... (click for more)

The Mainstreet Cruise In 20th season finale is this Saturday from 1-6 p.m. around the Courthouse Square in Cleveland. Car enthusiasts will be showing off their vehicles as all types of cars are ... (click for more)



Happenings

Conasauga Accountability Court Leaders Earn Certification

Angela Anderson of Conasauga Mental Health Court and Terry Sosebee of Conasauga Drug Court are among the first graduates of the Accountability Court Coordinator Certification Program. The two local leaders were recognized by the Council of Accountability Court Judges and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government during the annual CACJ training conference’s ... (click for more)

ArtsBuild Racial Equity Grant Applications Open Now For Individual Hispanic/Latino(a)(x) Artists

ArtsBuild announces the next application and funding cycle of the Racial Equity Grant for Individual Artists program. This grant cycle is open to individual artists living and working in Hamilton County who identify as Hispanic/Latino(a)(x). The REGIA grant program strives to support the work of diverse artists that are reflective of the community. National reports done over ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Daisy Madison To Retire As City's Chief Financial Officer After Nearly 20 Years

Daisy Madison, the city’s longtime chief financial officer, will conclude her distinguished career at City Hall this year as she begins her transition into retirement, she told senior staff Monday. Ms. Madison was hired as deputy chief finance officer in 1992 by former mayor Gene Roberts. She served with distinction under a succession of mayors, including Jon Kinsey, Bob Corker, ... (click for more)

Major General Tommy Baker Retires From Tennessee National Guard After 41 Years

After 41 years of service, Maj. Gen. Tommy H. Baker, a Huntingdon resident, retired from the Tennessee National Guard on Oct. 17. Since September 2018, Maj. Gen. Baker served as Tennessee’s Deputy Adjutant General and was responsible for the training and oversight of more than 12,000 Soldiers and Airmen in the Tennessee National Guard. In April 2021, Baker was appointed by Tennessee ... (click for more)

Opinion

Tennessee Fans Hit A New Low

Tennessee Vols fans hit a new low at the end of the UTK vs Ole Miss last evening. Maybe Lane Kiffin did us wrong when he left Knoxville for his dream team back in 2009, however, the crass and repulsive behavior of a large number of Tennessee fans didn’t reflect on Kiffin, it reflected on the great state of Tennessee. Has society really reduced itself to believing that reducing ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s Kiffin With Class

I’m 72 years old and after a lifetime of watching college football – more times than not from up real close – even I was shocked that the University of Tennessee showed a such a marked lack of class at the end of Saturday night’s 31-26 chaotic loss to a now-13 th ranked Ole Miss. In the waning minutes of what would have been a glorious college football game, a gutsy final drive ... (click for more)