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Largest Snake Gives Birth Without A Mate

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A 20-foot python from Louisville Zoo in America has given birth, just like that, without help of a mate.

Thelma, an 11-year-old reticulated python, the longest species of snake in the world, laid 61 eggs in the summer of 2012. The snake had no contact with a male in her four years at Louisville Zoo in Kentucky, USA.

After six months of extensive tests on the shed skins of the mother and her daughters, a study published in July this year in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society confirmed that Thelma was the sole parent, in the first example of virgin birth in the species.

Bill McMahan, curator of Ectotherms at Louisville Zoo, told National Geographic they were surprised.

“We didn’t know what we were seeing. We had attributed it to stored sperm. I guess sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.”


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