Sunday, April 14

8 animals that have virgin births

From delegated right, a California condor (Gymnogyps californianusa black pointer reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterusand a Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis. Virgin births have actually been taped in all these types. (Image credit: NNehring/jeby69/Gary Bell/Getty Images)

Some animals can have children without the requirement to mate. Informally called a “virgin birth,” this takes place through a procedure called parthenogenesis, in which a female animal produces an embryo from an unfertilized egg. The offspring tend to be just one sex– all male or all woman.

When an animal specifically replicates in this manner, the procedure is called obligate parthenogenesis. For animals that normally recreate sexually this procedure is called facultative parthenogenesis. Such optional parthenogenesis is generally really unusual.

From stick pests to sharks, here are 8 animals that have virgin births

Komodo dragon

Scientist found Komodo dragons might recreate without males just in 2006. (Image credit: Michael Dunning/Getty Images)

Researchers initially found that the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensismight have virgin births in 2006. At the time, just 2 Komodo Dragons resided in Europe. Among these dragons, a woman at the Chester Zoo in the U.K. brought to life a clutch of 25 eggs, in spite of never ever remaining in any contact with males.


A bonnethead shark at a fish tank in Nebraska was discovered to have actually delivered without any direct exposure to males. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

One common early morning at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, zookeepers were shocked to discover a 6.5 inch (16.5 centimeters) juvenile shark in a tank including 3 female bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo. None of the female bonnetheads had actually ever been exposed to males of the types within captivity, and they bore no breeding scars from various types within the tank.

Spontaneous births like this one were as soon as described by the woman’s capability to keep sperm for extended periods of time after being drawn from the wild. The female bonnetheads were gathered from the wild 3 years prior and well before sexual maturity, so researchers ruled out this description. This occurrence genetically validated, for the very first time that sharks go through parthenogenesis.

Ever since virgin births have actually been seen in zebra sharks (Stegostoma tigrinumblack pointer reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterusand smooth-hound sharks (Mustelus mustelus.

California condor

California condors are now understood to recreate without males, even when they exist. (Image credit: NNehring/Getty Images)

No thank you! Even when housed with males, seriously threatened female California condors (Gymnogyps californianusin some cases select to have children themselves.

In hopes of assisting the population rebound, scientists at San Diego Zoo housed female condors with a fertile male. Obviously the male wasn’t needed: Geneticists screening DNA samples within the laboratory found 2 male chicks that brought 2 similar copies of their mom’s DNA.

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