SAN DIEGO — Endangered California condors can have “’virgin births,” according to a study released, Thursday.

Researchers with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance said genetic testing confirmed that two male chicks hatched in 2001 and 2009 from unfertilized eggs were related to their mothers. Neither was related to a male.

The study was published, Thursday, in the Journal of Heredity. It’s the first report of asexual reproduction in California condors, although parthenogenesis can occur in other species ranging from sharks to honey bees to Komodo dragons.

But in birds, it usually only occurs when females don’t have access to males. In this case, each mother condor had previously bred with males, producing 34 chicks, and each was housed with a fertile male at the time they produced the eggs through parthenogenesis.

The researchers said they believe it is the first case of asexual reproduction in any avian species where the female had access to a mate.

“These findings now raise questions about whether this might occur undetected in other species,” said Oliver Ryder, the study’s co-author and director of conservation genetics for the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

(1) comment

Jimzan 2.0

Coming from the ASSOCIATED PRESS (aka Lying Scumbags)...(IMHO). Do you really believe this article....?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.