Snake gives ‘virgin birth’ to extraordinary babies
A female boa constrictor snake has given birth to two litters of extraordinary offspring.
Genetic evidence proves the mother snake has had multiple virgin births, producing 22 baby snakes that have no father.
More than that, the genetic make-up of the baby snakes is unlike any previously recorded among vertebrates, the group which includes almost all animals with a backbone — they have only the sex chromosomes of the female and they have no genetic material from a male boa.
Details are published in the Royal Society (UK) journal Biology Letters.