In Saint Louis Zoo female king python of 65 years-old laid seven eggs. Laying of the seven eggs by the python is a very incredible venet, because for 15 years it had no contact with male specimens. The reason was explained by the scientists.
The first is the ability that different animals have to retain sperm after mating, even for a very long time, self-fertilizing when environmental conditions are more favorable. This is a way to perpetuate the species in particularly difficult and delicate contexts.
The second path that may have led the royal python to lay eggs is optional parthenogenesis, an asexual reproduction technique also called virginal reproduction, also very common among animals and plants. In simple words, the species that are able to exploit it can start the development of the egg and the embryo inside it without the classic fertilization by the male.
The animal is sixty-five years old and has laid thirsty eggs
It is a well-studied reproductive strategy especially in stick insects, which in certain contexts exploit it to colonize new environments. In some cases facolative parthenogenesis can be activated precisely due to the lack / absence of males, as could have happened in the case of the python housed in the Saint Louis zoo.
Sexual reproduction with mating is always privileged due to a question of genetic diversity, since the descendants of animals that reproduce by parthenogenesis have the same genetic makeup as the mother. The specimen is 65 years old, and is the longest-lived python of this species known to be housed in the herpetological section of a zoological garden; normally these snakes, originating in West Africa, are considered very long-lived as they can survive up to 20-30 years, when well bred.
For this reason, the venerable age reached by the female of the Saint Louis Zoo is considered a real record. Scientists do not currently know if the royal python used delayed fertilization or optional parthenogesis, but it will be quite simple to find out by analyzing the genetic profile of the seven eggs.
Whatever the answer, it is undoubtedly an unusual event, which will hopefully result in the birth of seven small reptiles. Some days ago we told you how Birds are at risk of starvation due to climate change. A new study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and Cornell University has made a disturbing discovery, based on a set of data collected over 30 years.
According to research, birds always breed earlier and this is not good news. The study also highlighted the heavy consequences on the bird's fitness but may also provide clues to an as-yet-unsolved mystery: aerial insectivorous birds, such as swallows, swifts and flycatchers are declining faster than other groups across much of North America and of Europe.
In fact, due to the anticipation of the arrival of spring, they cannot find the insects they eat and whose activity is determined by the weathe. The study has discovered the serious consequences for these animals that unknowingly reproduce earlier to "synchronize" with the early beginning of spring.
If the climate changes, animals try to keep up but don't always succeed and when they do this can be harmful. For example, chicks that hatch earlier face an increased risk of bad weather, food shortages, and early mortality.