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Selfies, One And All: A Single Mom’s Unusual Family
Source: Diego Delso/CC 3.0

At Boston’s New England Aquarium in early 2019, a 10-foot anaconda named Anna surprised her caretakers when she gave birth to 18 baby snakes—without the involvement of a male. The mama created her offspring by a rarely documented process called parthenogenesis, which is Greek for “virgin birth.” Each of Anna’s eggs cloned itself, then self-fertilized. The result? Babies that contain genetic information from mom only. In Anna’s case, they were exact clones, and only two survived. Babies born via this type of asexual reproduction are prone to genetic mutations.

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