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  • Dragons are usually depicted as highly adaptable creatures. It's not unlikely they were always rare, and somewhere along the line may have developed the ability to procreate through parthenogenesis. One species of lizard, the whiptail lizard, does this because all males of the species somehow died out; the species consists entirely of females. Basically, what happens is, when two females begin mating, it triggers a process in one of them where its body begins copying its own genetic code, making a sort of clone. That "clone" is then laid in an egg and develops as the baby.

    "But weird person, Druk is confirmed to be a descendent of Ran and Shaw, and also confirmed to be male. So he can't just be a clone of a female dragon!"

    Ah, but let's consider the biology of another reptile: crocadilians. Crocs and gators, and I believe some turtles as well, aren't determined to be male or female at conception, like most other mammals. The sex of the offspring is determined by the tempurature of the nest. If the eggs are kept at a cooler temperature, the clutch will consist mostly of females. Likewise, if the nest is warmer, most of the hatchlings will be males. Don't ask me why, that I don't know.

    Considering these two possibilities, it wouldn't be impossible that Ran and Shao, both female, produced an egg through parthenogenesis, and then the egg was kept in a warmer nest, which resulted in baby boy Druk being born.

    In truth, there are a lot of possibilities that could explain it. Maybe it's as simple as one of them is male and one of them is female. Maybe dragons are hermaphroditic, like snails, or maybe they have the ability to switch sex, like the parrot fish. Nature's insane.

    Just for fun, I like to think the egg was bestowed on Zuko by Ran and Shao to be cared for and incubated, and all the sun warriors told him was the egg had to be kept really hot for it to hatch, so he just kept it in the hottest fire he could maintain.

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    • Wow, this is a reversal of the usual scenario, usually someone makes a thread asking which one is male & which is female, & I start going on about parthenogenesis because I'm a contrarian dick.

      Dragons are usually depicted as highly adaptable creatures. It's not unlikely they were always rare, and somewhere along the line may have developed the ability to procreate through parthenogenesis.

      Granted.

      One species of lizard, the whiptail lizard, does this because all males of the species somehow died out; the species consists entirely of females.

      That's a slight misconception. Whiptail lizards never had males. They are a hybrid species in which male embroys aren't viable, but females are. Both of the parent species are capable of parthenogenesis, & that is why the whiptails are as well.

      Basically, what happens is, when two females begin mating, it triggers a process in one of them where its body begins copying its own genetic code, making a sort of clone. That "clone" is then laid in an egg and develops as the baby.

      This would raise the question of whether or not Mike & Bryan would consider the individual that didn't actually donate any genetic information to be a "parent," but for simplicity's sake, let's say that they do.

      Ah, but let's consider the biology of another reptile: crocadilians. Crocs and gators, and I believe some turtles as well, aren't determined to be male or female at conception, like most other mammals. The sex of the offspring is determined by the tempurature of the nest. If the eggs are kept at a cooler temperature, the clutch will consist mostly of females. Likewise, if the nest is warmer, most of the hatchlings will be males. Don't ask me why, that I don't know.

      It appears to have something to do with altering hormone levels, so I suppose it's at least theoretically possible that this could exist alongside parthenogenesis. We also know it's possible under the X/0 system, as aphids reproduce this way.

      Maybe dragons are hermaphroditic, like snails, or maybe they have the ability to switch sex, like the parrot fish. Nature's insane.

      Druk being considered definitively male would seem to preclude the former, but the latter is still possible.

      Just for fun, I like to think the egg was bestowed on Zuko by Ran and Shao to be cared for and incubated, and all the sun warriors told him was the egg had to be kept really hot for it to hatch, so he just kept it in the hottest fire he could maintain.

      I think it's important to consider these possibilities, but inevitably I think the most probable explanation is simply that 1 dragon is male & the other is female, as Mike & Bryan haven't really given any indication that they considered an alternate route.

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    • I read one fic in which it was as follows:

      • Both were female.
      • Shao was Ran's daughter.
      • The sunstone was an egg.  It hatched. 
      • The hatchling was male.  It was understood that once the little guy matured, he and Shao would mate.
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    • I'm pretty sure that the sunstone being an egg part is canon, & I guess they're probably going to have to go all incest to keep the line alive, but why make it multi-generational?

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    • An anonymous contributor
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