FTOTW ending Jan 6 (#14) – Immaculate Conception in Komodos, Zorilla, Collapse..

Animal Watching – 

  1. Immaculate conception in Komodo Dragons – In an amazing research report, scientists reported that Komodo Dragons have given birth to offspring using a rare asexual reproductive technique called Parthenogenesis. I recalled from the famous movie, Jurassic Park, they exclusively breed only female dinosaurs to prevent uncontrolled reproduction, but in one scene, the character played by Sam Neill spots a dinosaur egg in the wild and remarks – “nature has figured out a way to reproduce with only females”. I think the way must have been parthenogenesis.
  2. What is the world’s most poisonous creature? Our friend April Holladay answers this question. It is not what you think. Read on.
  3. The world’s smelliest animal Zorilla‘s stink can be detected as far as half-a-mile away!

4. Where was the world’s first museum founded? 5. NYT’s David Pogue’s list of brilliant ideas in 2006.  Must read. 6.  Scientists studied the geological records of monsoons over the past 16,000 years to show that a weak monsoon could have been the cause of the collapse of the Tang Dynasty in China and the Mayan civilization in South America. Studying monsoon records is the latest technique that got added to archaeology. See my post on Collapse for other techniques. This monsoon idea got me thinking – did the Indus Valley civilization collapse due to monsoons? The mystery of the Indus Valley Civilization is yet to be solved. 7. On the movies front, we watched “The First Great Train Robbery” written/directed by Michael Crichton starring Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland and Leslie Ann-Down. It is a 3.5 Star movie in my opinion.


  1. Anonymous said January 24, 2007, 8:23 pm:

    Hi Sukumar,

    Today’s Hindu has a writeup on the Virgin birth of Komodo Dragons. Thought you might be interested (Pg 18)


  2. Anonymous said January 25, 2007, 12:02 am:

    Thanks Archana. I saw it. This is another example of how late the mainstream press covers something much after the blogosphere – almost 20 full days after.

  3. Anonymous said January 25, 2007, 7:47 am:

    Exactly what I thought when I read the article.

    Created a reader account as you suggested.

  4. Anonymous said January 26, 2007, 1:57 am:

    Thanks Archana. I didn’t know you had a internet blog. I will add you to the favorites list.

  5. Anonymous said January 26, 2007, 11:48 pm:

    Thanks Sukumar. I don’t update is very regularly. Planning to do it henceforth.