California Condors Can Have ‘Virgin Births’: Study

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Endangered California condors can have “’virgin births,” in accordance to a analyze produced Thursday.

Researchers with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance said genetic screening confirmed that two male chicks hatched in 2001 and 2009 from unfertilized eggs were being associated to their moms. Neither was similar to a male.

The analyze was released Thursday in the the Journal of Heredity. It is the to start with report of asexual replica in California condors, despite the fact that parthenogenesis can arise in other species ranging from sharks to honey bees to Komodo dragons.

But in birds, it typically only happens when ladies do not have obtain to males. In this case, each and every mom condor experienced earlier bred with males, developing 34 chicks, and every was housed with a fertile male at the time they manufactured the eggs as a result of parthenogenesis.

The researchers reported they imagine it is the very first circumstance of asexual replica in any avian species in which the woman had accessibility to a mate.

“These results now increase issues about irrespective of whether this could possibly manifest undetected in other species,” said Oliver Ryder, the study’s co-writer and director of conservation genetics for the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

The non-gain alliance runs the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park and has been associated in a California condor breeding plan that aided provide the big vultures back again from in the vicinity of-extinction.

With 10-foot (3-meter) wingspans, California condors are the major flying birds in North The us. They when ranged during the West Coast. But only 22 survived in the 1980s when the U.S. govt captured them and put them in zoos for captive breeding. About 160 ended up bred at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.

There are now far more than 500 California condors, including a lot more than 300 that have been produced into the wild in California, Arizona, Utah and Mexico.

The asexual copy was found some decades back during prevalent testing of genetic material collected in excess of decades from condors, the two dwelling and useless, in breeding plans and in the wild.

“Among 467 male California condors tested in the parentage evaluation, no male certified as a opportunity sire” of the two birds, the research reported.

California condors can are living up to 60 many years, but each males were sickly. 1 was less than 2 a long time outdated when he died, and the other lived fewer than eight years.