A zoo in Costa Rica has discovered the first instance of a crocodile that was capable of impregnating herself.

A fetus was created by her which shared 99.9% of its genetic information with her own.

The occurrence of "virgin birth," which is when offspring are produced without mating, has been observed in various animals such as birds, fish, and reptiles. However, no instances of virgin birth have been recorded in crocod

Experts suggest that the ability to self-reproduce may have been passed down from an evolutionary predecessor, implying that dinosaurs might have possessed this characteristic as well.

In January 2018, a female American crocodile who was 18 years old laid an egg in Parque Reptilania. Sadly, the foetus inside the egg was already fully developed but did not survive and therefore could not hatch.

The park’s scientific team acquired a two-year-old crocodile that was kept isolated from other crocodiles throughout its life. To study the phenomenon of virgin births, scientifically termed parthenogenesis, the park’s team consulted with a US-based team from Virginia Polytechnic that specializes in this area.

Upon examining the unborn offspring, researchers discovered that it shared over 99.9% of its genetic material with its mother, providing evidence that it was conceived without a male parent.

According to a study published in the Biology Letters journal of the Royal Society, researchers have suggested that virgin births could be a more frequent occurrence in crocodiles. However, this phenomenon may have gone unnoticed as it has not been actively observed before.

According to the research paper by the scientists, it is common for reptiles in captivity to lay eggs even in the absence of a mate, but these eggs are usually considered non-viable and thrown away. However, the researchers suggest that such eggs should be evaluated for their potential viability in the absence of male reptiles.

In addition, it is possible for a female to give birth without mating, but this phenomenon may not be observed if the female is living with a male.

The cause of parthenogenesis in various species is not fully understood, but it is becoming more frequently observed in scientific studies, possibly due to increased research efforts. One hypothesis suggests that parthenogenesis may occur in species that have the capacity for it when their population sizes decrease, and they face the threat of becoming extinct.

According to the scientists, this fresh evidence provides intriguing information about the reproductive abilities of crocodile’s extinct relatives, particularly dinosaurs.

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