Immaculate Conception: Clonal Reproduction in Snakes
(and other animals)

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Reproduction takes two, right? Well, not always. Many arthropods and microscopic animals called rotifers reproduce clonally and although it is relatively rare in vertebrates, clonal reproduction has been confirmed in several species of fish, amphibians, birds and reptiles. Known as parthenogenesis, clonal reproduction in vertebrates can occur when an offspring develops from an unfertilised egg. Parthenogenesis has never been observed to occur naturally in mammals, although it is possible to induce it artificially in the lab.

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One comment on “Immaculate Conception: Clonal Reproduction in Snakes
(and other animals)

  1. In no way, parthenogenesis can be called clonal reproduction. Clonal reproduction does not result in genetic variability. All offspring is genetically identical to the parental organism. Pathenogenesis, with the production of gametes by meiosis, results in genetic variability. The offspring differ genetically among them and from the parental organism. In this respect parthenogenesis is closer to the “traditional” sexual reproduction than to the paratomy. In fact, parthenogenesis should be consider a particular kind of sexual reproduction. One more thing, sexuality is the production of genetic variability, and some protists practice sex without reproduction: two parental organisms exchange genetic material, resulting in two new organisms genetically different from the parents. Sex, but without reproduction. Best regards

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