Parthenogenesis - 'Virgin Birth', confirmed in wild snake species
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September 14th, 2012, 07:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Originally Posted by
Pretty sure this article is out of date.
Parthenogenesis has been known in reptiles, mostly smaller lizards and snakes for some time now. Whiptail Lizards (in the link) have long be known to have a female-only population though so these snakes certainly aren't the only 'wild' examples.
Edit:// Wait, the thing then contradicts itself and says it's known in loads of species. Neverminddd!
- Yes, asexual reproduction leads to very genetically similar populations. If a new disease comes along/the environment changes suddenly then those populations reproducing by parthenogenesis will be unlikely to have the diversity to survive.
Just a note, although they are asexual offspring there will be
genetic differences due to random mutations.
What Live didn't add is that the amount found in captivity happened because a female was held captive alone with no males to breed with her. This is important because there were males in the wild environment, and the female was still reproducing asexually. Considering this asexual reproduction has created weak, sickly babies a lot of the time, it raises the question of why, when there's a higher chance of getting viable offspring from sexual reproduction, why asexual reproduction would occur at all. It makes sense in the captive animals that had no males to reproduce with, but it happening in the wild like this is pretty mind-blowing.
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