Virgin Anaconda Birth at New England Aquarium
I know what you're probably thinking, "Darn Internet clickbait got me again!" Well, you're wrong. THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!
In pure Jurassic Park fashion, the New England Aquarium features exhibits with only female animals. Despite this, two green baby anacondas were born in the Amazon exhibit recently.
This is due to a natural phenomenon called parthenogenesis which happens in some plants, some invertebrates, and even fewer vertebrates.
Appropriately named, Anna, the mama green anaconda gave birth in January and most were stillborn, which is not uncommon with parthenogenesis, but three were born alive. Two are now left. Confirmation that the babies were born without male fertilization was just recently made public.
Anna Anaconda has been a resident of the New England Aquarium since she was was a wee snake and has never been exposed to a male counterpart. Anna is only the second documented case of parthenogenesis successfully occurring in the green anaconda, according to WHDH.
The New England Aquarium's website went into further detail stating that the other confirmed occurrence happened at a zoo in the UK in 2014.
Further confirming the virgin birth the New England Aquarium performed DNA testing and confirmed the absence of male fertilization.
As the captivating and iconic Jeff Goldblum once said,
If there's one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories, and it crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously but well there it is...I'm simply saying life finds a way.
That it did, Jeff, that it did.
The babies are not on display at this time. The New England Aquarium reports that they eat about once a week and do appear to have differing personalities.
And here I thought human reproduction was a fascinating science.