Thursday, March 5, 2009

Female Whiptail Lizards Can Do It All

The whiptail lizard is the only unisexual reptile, which means it’s the only species of reptile that consists of just females. These female lizards are asexual and reproduce using a method called parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction that produces an exact genetic duplicate of the mother. They have been around for generations, which makes their case especially interesting because without genetic variation, they can never evolve to adapt to their environment. Scientists still don't completely understand how they can survive without evolution, but for now, they seem to be adapting just fine.

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