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Do Lizards Reproduce Parthenogenetically?

Some species of lizards can reproduce via "virgin births," in which females give birth with no male fertilization. This is called parthenogenesis, and lizards aren't the only ones who can do it — several arthropods, including aphids, water fleas and some bees and scorpions reproduce parthenogenetically. So do some reptiles and fish and, very rarely, birds.

More facts about parthenogenesis:

  • Although there is no known case of mammals reproducing parthenogenetically in the wild, some mice, monkeys and rabbits have been induced into parthenogenesis. However, most of the offspring were abnormally formed.

  • Scientists in the Omaha Zoo were shocked in 2007 when a female shark gave a "virgin birth." It was the first known instance of sharks reproducing parthenogenetically.

  • One species of lizard reproduces entirely parthenogenetically — the New Mexico Whiptail, a species that consists entirely of females.

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Discussion Comments
By anon160354 — On Mar 15, 2011

It looks like a reason to start a new religion. At least if you're swimming among the sharks.

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