"Virgin birth" among animals may not be a rare, last-resort, save-the-species stopgap after all.Get used to it, guys. Evolution is at work. Men are not needed anymore. At least not to sharks, giant lizards, pit vipers, and other snakes.
For the first time, animal mothers, specifically pit vipers, have been discovered spawning fatherless offspring in the wild. More to the point, the snakes did so even when perfectly good males were around.
(Related: "'Virgin Birth' Record Broken by Hotel Shark.")
Among vertebrate animals that normally reproduce sexually, virlgin birth, or parthenogenesis, had been observed in only captive female snakes, Komodo dragons, birds, and sharks.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Virgin births not rare
National Geographic News reports: