Critically Endangered California Condor Turns Out to Be Born From 'Unfertilized Eggs'


Stacy Spensley

The California Condor , which lives in the western United States, is considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to its low population. A research team at the San Diego Zoo , which runs such a California Condor breeding program, has revealed that 'California condors were born from unfertilized eggs.'

Facultative Parthenogenesis in California Condors | Journal of Heredity | Oxford Academic

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Conservation Scientists Report First Confirmed Hatchings of Two California Condor Chicks from Unfertilized Eggs – San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Stories unfertilized-eggs /

California condors can have'virgin births,' study finds

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, which operates the San Diego Zoo, collects genetic information from 911 California condors over a 30-year period with the goal of ensuring the genetic diversity of California condors. In the process of analyzing the genetic information, it was found that two carfonia condors carry only the 'mother's gene'.

A research team at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance searched the genetic information database for individuals with the appropriate genes for their fathers, but found no fathers. From this, the research team concluded that 'two California condors have no biological father.'

According to the research team, examples of parthenogenesis in birds are

rarely observed in 'female birds that cannot contact males'. However, the mother of the parthenogenetic individual discovered this time lived with males, one of which produced 11 chicks and the other of which produced 23 chicks by sexual reproduction. In addition, the latter mother reportedly gave birth to two chicks by sexual reproduction after the birth of a parthenogenetic individual. From this, the research team emphasized its importance, saying, 'This is the first discovery of a parthenogenetic individual in California Condor, and the first discovery in a bird that reproduces normally with males.' doing.

Some California condors live for about 60 years, but two parthenogenetic individuals died in 2003 at the age of two and the other in 2017 at the age of eight. The research team also claims that the search for parthenogenetic individuals using molecular genetic techniques has not been performed so far. 'This finding suggests that it may have been parthenogenetic in other species, not just detected,' said Oliver Ryder , a member of the research team. ..

Parthenogenesis is rare in birds, but it is known that many species of reptiles and fish reproduce by parthenogenesis. In 2017, it was reported that female sharks separated from males changed their reproductive strategy from sexual reproduction to parthenogenesis.

It is observed that a shark separated from a male lays eggs alone and quickly changes its reproduction strategy from sexual reproduction to asexual reproduction --GIGAZINE.

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1o_hf