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Panel Questions

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Helen, a Komodo dragon at the Chattanooga Zoo has become famous after she gave birth to three hatchlings without what?

HELEN HONG: A male.

SAGAL: Right - exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: She did it all on her own.

HONG: Oh.

SAGAL: Zookeepers were thrilled and surprised when the female lizard became a mother of dragons. She did it without a baby daddy. It's exciting for a number of reasons. Finally, we know lady lizards can really have it all without a man. And we know that unto us lizard Jesus was born this day a savior.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: I was going to say, was the Holy Spirit - touch the Komodo dragon?

SAGAL: It really was.

TOM BODETT: You know, I bet there's a little gecko somewhere...

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: A big smile on his face. And none of its friends believe it. The female lizard had shared an enclosure with a male lizard, but they never mated, which is weird because that's the sort of behavior you'd expect from a bearded dragon.

HONG: But - so they definitely did.

SAGAL: Well, no. But here's the thing, Helen. So they did a DNA test, and it came back, and they are totally not the male lizard's offspring. Zoo staff suspect that the hatchlings were instead produced through a rare process of female-only reproduction called parthenogenesis, causing a spike in women Googling, how do I parthenogenesis?

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: How do you spell parthenogenesis?

PETER GROSZ: I thought that's when...

SAGAL: Just like it sounds.

GROSZ: ...Genesis plays a concert at the Parthenon.

(SOUNDBITE OF RAMIN DJAWADI'S "GAME OF THRONES MAIN TITLE THEME")

SAGAL: Coming up, get out your shake weight. It's our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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