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

She gave birth to a developing offspring that shared 99.9% of her genetic makeup.

The occurrence of "virgin birth," where offspring are produced without fertilization from a male, has been observed in various types of animals such as birds, fish, and reptiles. However, this has never been observed before in

According to the scientists, there is a possibility that the ability to reproduce through self-fertilization might have been passed down from an ancestor through the process of evolution. This leads to speculation that even

In January 2018, a female American crocodile that was 18 years old laid an egg at Parque Reptilania. The egg had a developed fetus inside, but unfortunately, it was stillborn and did not hatch.

The park obtained a crocodile that laid an egg when she was only two years old, and she had been isolated from other crocodiles throughout her entire life. Due to this unusual situation, the park’s scientific team reached out to a specialized US team from Virginia Polytechnic who focused on virgin births, which is scientifically called parthenogenesis.

After conducting a thorough examination of the unborn child, it was determined that its genetic makeup was over 99.9% identical to that of its mother, providing evidence that the child was not conceived through the involvement of

According to a study published in the scientific journal Biology Letters by researchers from the Royal Society, virgin births could be occurring more frequently in crocodiles than previously believed. The researchers suggest that this phenomenon may have gone undetected due to a lack of attention given to its occurrence.

According to a research paper, it is common for reptiles in captivity to lay eggs even without a mate due to isolation. Typically, these eggs are considered non-viable and thrown away. However, the scientists suggest that it may be worthwhile to check the potential viability of these eggs when male reptiles are absent.

Additionally, it is possible for instances of virgin births to happen even when potential mates are present, but these occurrences may go unnoticed if females are living with males during reproduction.

The reason for parthenogenesis in various species is still not fully understood, but it is becoming more noticeable in scientific studies as researchers actively search for it. Some scientists speculate that parthenogenesis may occur in species that are capable of it when their population numbers decrease and they are at risk of extinction.

According to the scientists, this fresh evidence provides intriguing knowledge regarding the potential reproductive abilities of ancient relatives of crocodiles, specifically referring to dinosaurs.

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