Pretty cool article. I was impressed by the fact that 2.5-5% of clutches are parthenogenetic. It's also interesting that one hypothesis was that, since parthenogenetic offspring of snakes will be male, the condition could be a way to rebuild a population through mother/son breeding. The thought had crossed my mind when reading the first part of the article and was confirmed when I read it in the article. Enjoy!
As far as the rattlesnake part: do they realize that sperm can be retained? So how do they know that didnt happen and it just so happened the female only gave birth (hatched) to one male? Im not really sure how she would have had a male without any dna from a male.
EDIT: nm, i think i may have read that weird...
Last edited by Mike41793; 09-13-2012 at 10:02 AM.
0.1 Cinnamon 50% poss. het pied
0.1 Yellowbelly T's
0.0.1 B. vagans
0.0.1 B. boehmei
So don't think mammals here guys, and by that I mean where the male is XY and the female is XX. These guys' sex chromosomes are Z and W, and in their case the females are the heterogametic species. Put simply, ZW=Female, ZZ=Male. Because of the way that this occurs the females can ONLY produce male offspring. If any of the hatchlings were female they woudn't be candidtates for a virgin clutch. It says in the article that the two clutches that were tested were already candidates because they were male and had some slugs/stillbirths in the clutch.
Mike - without re-reading the article, and if I read it right, they conducted DNA analysis to determine whether there was genetic material from another animal.