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Virgin birth in the animal kingdom explained

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Insects do it, Komodo dragons and other lizards, there is even a snake species that has lived and reproduced without males for millions of years. But did you know that birds can do it, too? Recently, a team of researchers found two Californian condor chicks that came to be from parthenogenesis. But no one has ever observed virgin birth in mammals? Why is that? And what’s the advantage of either way of reproduction? Our guest, evolutionary biologist, A/Prof Tanja Schwander has (almost) all the answers.

The peppermint stick insect from far north Queensland. One of the favorite study objects of researchers studying parthenogenesis. Tanja Schwander would like to have a colony to study as well. But the stick insects are very picky with their food. And pandanus plants are notoriously hard to come by in Switzerland.

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