An Anaconda In The US Has Given Birth Without Any Intercourse
8 years old Anaconda named Anna who weighed 30 pounds and 10 feet long in height, had given birth to a litter of baby snakes.
The resident biologists were instantly notified, who crawled into the tank and found three live babies and about a dozen stillborn.
Certainly, anaconda birth isn’t unusual. Anaconda has no trouble reproducing in the ambience of an aquarium and the snakes living in that Amazon exhibit were no exception.
If left to freely breed, green anaconda like Anna can have dozens of babies at a time, which is surely why the staff members of that Boston aquarium had taken great care to keep male and female snakes in separate tanks.
As per the arrangement, Anna’s roommates were all female. So, she had no contact with the males and yet, somehow, she still became pregnant. This was simply the wonders of science.
The staff members immediately suspected a rare reproductive process called parthenogenesis, which means that a female organism can self-impregnate. She does not necessarily have to get intimate with any male Anaconda to get pregnant. The word itself is of Greek origin and its translation means ‘virgin birth’. This phenomenon is far more common in plants and insects, but it has been documented in some exception cases in lizard, shark, bird and snake species.
Parthenogenesis is not necessarily a product of captive circumstances. The process has been documented in the wild and is known to occur within species where the female might not see a male for an extended period of time. Based on that, parthenogenesis was a logical explanation for Anna’s Immaculate Conception.
Before the aquarium officially announce their strange and chance discovery, the staff biologists still had many things to uncover.
Anna’s female roommates were closely examined to re-confirm their biological gender. Staffers ruled out “delayed embryo implantation”. She had been born at a certified reptile organization and brought to the New England Aquarium as a very young snake, with no exposure to males.
The Aquarium veterinarians then sent off tissue samples for analysis for DNA test and to confirm the same. Many weeks later, the results as per their expectations, what most Aquarium staff had suspected.
Anna’s DNA was all they found. And her two living babies – a third died 48 hours after birth, appeared to be her genetic copies.
As per the aquarium staff’s explanation, there can be different kinds of parthenogenesis, many of which do not yield exact DNA copies of their mother.
When the aquarium presented Anna’s mystery to the world, staff said they had been holding the two babies to condition them for regular handling by humans. The public couldn’t view the two youngsters yet, they were still being cared for. The discovery was surely exciting as well as an end to another mystery.
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