Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Look Ma! No Pa!

What do the films Godzilla and Jurassic Park have in common? OK apart from the depiction of large bipedal reptilians. What I'm trying to get at is they both use parthenogenesis as a plot device. Godzilla lays all those eggs in Madison Square Gardens, and the dinosaurs have frog-filler DNA which enables them to start breeding and thus allowing in the element of chaos that Jeff Goldbloom's character witters on about.
So far so sci-fi. Reality however has a knack of catching up with our imagination. A Komodo dragon in Chester Zoo has just laid eight self-fertilised eggs! The biologists' conjecture is that this is an evolutionary strategy to enable a single female to colonise an island by producing a batch of male offspring who can mate with her, and kick start the population.
I'd always felt that this was one of the weaker plot devices of both films. Parthogenesis? In large lizards? Yeah right. And now it seems that biology has proved them right. I bet it's morphic resonance really.

4 comments:

Beach Bum said...

There is a chilling aspect for me in your post in that nature has a nasty habit of engineering surprises that we humans never see coming. Self fertilizing eggs for reptiles to expand in a new environment and pandemics for bipedal mammals that overpopulate and wreck the planet.
Great blog by the way

Siswanto Muhtasor Muhammad said...

hi...happy new year, from Kuwait.

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

One time, years ago, I was watching that old movie "Westworld", and I remember thinking to myself that it's style was just like "Jurassic Park", only with western style robots running amok instead of dinosaurs. Then I saw the credits--and sure enough, there was Michael Crichton's name.

Deacon Barry said...

Good film. Yul Brynner was menacing.