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Virgin births may be common in the wild

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by jobberone, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Wild female pit vipers can reproduce without a male, suggesting virgin births may take place in nature far more than before thought.

    Asexual reproduction[​IMG] is common among invertebrates — that is, animals without backbones. It occurs rarely in vertebrates, but examples of it are increasingly being discovered. For instance, the Komodo dragon[​IMG], the world's largest living lizard, has given birth via parthenogenesis, in which an unfertilized egg develops to maturity. Such virgin births[​IMG] have also been seen in sharks[​IMG] at least twice; in birds such as chickens and turkeys; and in snakes such as pit vipers[​IMG] and boa constrictors[​IMG].

    Although virgin birth has been observed in vertebrates in captivity, scientists had not yet seen it happen in the wild. This raised the possibility that such asexual reproduction might just be a rare curiosity outside the mainstream of vertebrate evolution.
  2. SaltwaterServr

    SaltwaterServr Blank Paper Offends Me

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    It's a helluva clever evolutionary trick to keep your genes in circulation. If/When the breeding population has become so fragmented that a suitable male cannot be found for faculative reproduction, she does so on her own.

    Nature finds a way.
  3. justbob

    justbob Just taking it easy

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    Keep this one between lines gentlemen and gentlewomen.
  4. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Yeah, I didn't post this when I first noticed it several days ago because I was afraid it might cause trouble. We'll just watch it closely.

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