Go Back

Leslie Samuel

Founder Interactive Biology

First-Ever Crocodile Virgin Birth Could Lead Scientists to New Methods of Conservation and Preservation


In a groundbreaking discovery, scientists have recorded the first ever crocodile virgin birth at a reptile park in Costa Rica. A female American crocodile named Coquita, isolated for 16 years, was found with a clutch of 14 eggs, a phenomenon known as facultative parthenogenesis (FP). This type of asexual reproduction, previously observed in birds, sharks, lizards, and snakes, has been documented in the Crocodilia order for the first time. Seven of the 14 eggs were viable, but none hatched, with one containing a fully formed but non-viable fetus almost genetically identical to the mother. This discovery and the known occurrence of FP in birds suggest a common evolutionary origin, potentially shedding light on the reproductive capabilities of extinct archosaurian relatives of crocodilians, including dinosaurs and pterosaurs.

Dr. Warren Booth, a researcher, parthenogenesis expert, and co-author of the crocodile virgin birth study, noted that the complex mechanism deployed to create the conditions, in this case, were likely inherited from the crocodile’s far distant relatives, the dinosaurs.

Scientists frequently turn to nature for learnings that help reshape man’s understanding of its environment, the potential to solve problems and find medical cures. Where will this latest discovery take the scientific world?

Leslie Samuel, Founder and Creator at Interactive Biology, shared his excitement about this first-of-its-kind crocodile virgin birth discovery and hinted at some of the intriguing possibilities that could domino off of further research into crocodile facultative parthenogenesis.


Leslie’s Thoughts:

“Scientists have discovered the first ever virgin birth in crocodiles. You heard that right, a virgin birth. Now this isn’t the first time this has been observed. It’s been seen in birds, sharks, and even lizards. This fascinating phenomenon is called facultative parthenogenesis. It’s when a species that typically reproduces sexually will reproduce asexually. But this is the first time it’s ever been seen in crocodiles. Now, I know what you’re thinking. What in the world does this mean? And that’s precisely what scientists are trying to figure out. Is it possible that other species can reproduce by facultative parthenogenesis that we never knew about? Is this a way for some species on the brink of extinction to still reproduce? If it is possible for reproduction to happen even in isolation, does this open new avenues for how we approach conservation and preserving biodiversity? Also, does this give us insight into how other extinct reptiles, like dinosaurs, how they reproduced?

This could transform the way we think about life and survival strategies in these ancient creatures. I believe this is a whole new realm of biology just waiting to be explored.”


Article written by James Kent.

Fields with ( * ) are required

To submit a comment, please provide your name and email or sign in at MarketScale.com


Recent Posts

Generate new neurons in the adult brain
Biologists Figured Out How to Generate New Neurons in the Adult Brain, Revolutionizing Neurodegenerative Disease Research Articles - Mar 17, 2023

Recently biologists discovered how to generate new neurons in the adult brain. This is an incredible breakthrough that has enormous potential to revolutionize neurodegenerative disease research. By generating genetically-mutated mice with a unique gene that activates dormant neural stem cells, scientists were able to generate new neurons in the brain. For years, scientists have…

fungus from The Last of Us Could Help Fight Cancer
The Fungus from The Last of Us Could Help Fight Cancer Articles - Feb 28, 2023

The Last of Us, HBO’s videogame-inspired zombie TV epic, opened to rave reviews last month. This drama, led by Game of Thrones stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, shows a post-apocalyptic world that has been ravaged by the corydceps fungus after the fungus adapts for survival in the human body. Scarily enough, the fungus from…

Register to MarketScale.com for Leslie Samuel episodes, events, and more.

Already have an account?