Dragon Ball Drops the Real-Life Roots of Namekian Reproduction

By Megan Peters
Dragon Ball Super has worked with Namekians since it began decades ago. The Demon King gave Goku one of his first big challenges, and Dragon Ball has carried forward Piccolo and others from Planet Namek in the years since. There are even new Namekians hanging around ready to make their debut, but a new report has fans rethinking the way Namekians reproduce after all these years.
Now, fans were told long ago how Namekians are created. The race is birthed from eggs, and they are all made by an elder known as Saichoro. This older Namekian was almost like the race’s matriarch before his death left the job to Muri, and this role reminded fans of how bees have a queen who births its entire hive. But in a new interview, scientist Yudai Okuyama says the comparison isn’t correct.
“All the current Namekians from Planet Namek that we know of hatched from eggs from Saichoro, right? Isn’t that incredible? There are so many other mature Namekians, and yet they don’t propagate. Biologically speaking, Namekians might be an example of a species where only one member of a group is able to reproduce at all,” the scientist shared.
“Before Saichoro passed away, he himself designated Muri to succeed him. In the case of a bee colony, if the queen dies, the colony will perish, and so I think we can say that bees and Namekians are not quite the same.”
Instead, Okuyama likens the Namekian reproduction process to that used by mole rats. If you didn’t know, these animals also live in colonies, and they are headed by a single matriarch. The female mates and gives birth to plenty of mole rats including other females, but these later generations are unable to reproduce. This is because the matriarch begins emitting pheromones that inhibit other females from ovulating and becoming pregnant. When the current matriarch dies, another female in the colony is chosen who then begins emitting those pheromones, and the cycle continues.
“Perhaps Saichoro emits some kind of pheromone that inhibits the reproductive capabilities of the other members of the species,” Okuyama says.
Clearly, Namekians have a complicated history with reproducing, but the Dragon Ball race has streamlined things as best it can. The race has lost so many of its people in wars, and no one can forget how many Namekians died at Frieza’s hand. New Namek is now the last homestead keeping the Namekians whole, and its matriarchs need to bolster the population if the race wants to return to its glory days.
What do you make of this real-world explanation? Have you ever thought this deeply about Namekians before…? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.
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