Virgin births really happen -- here are the animals that prove it

Yes, you read that right.

Virgin birth is a thing, and it’s been happening for millennia in some animals.

It’s something called parthenogenesis, which basically just means reproduction without fertilization. The mother provides both sets of the DNA necessary to create an embryo, which is typically female.

Here are the animals that are capable of having offspring that’s genetically all theirs.

Genetic diversity in a species is important for fending off diseases and maintaining a growing population. This bonnethead shark is one of the types of sharks that can reproduce asexually (by parthenogenesis) in captivity.

Wikimedia Commons


Other egg-laying animals, like domesticated turkeys and chickens, have also been able to produce offspring without mating. In the 1950s, scientists discovered that unfertilized turkey eggs could develop embryos through parthenogenesis.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty


The insect world is also known to have virgin births. In 2008, researchers found that in the case of Cape honeybees in South Africa, the virgin queen bee was able to make both male and female baby bees.

Wikimedia Commons


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