Green Anaconda Snake Gives 'Virgin Birth' to 18 Snakes Despite Living in All FEMALE Company in New England Aquarium
Anaconda snake (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

An anaconda snake in Boston aquarium has given birth to 18 snakes. But what is so novel about their birth? Anna the anaconda is making to the news because she has spent most of her life in the company of female snakes. So how was she able to give birth without any sexual reproduction? Anna's baby snakes are an instance of parthenogenesis- a term that comes from the Greek words meaning 'virgin birth.' So that left everyone surprised when there were 18 baby snakes arriving in January. Anaconda Snake Crossing Road Brings Traffic to Halt in Brazil (Watch Viral Video).

Anna is an 8-year-old, 10-foot-long green anaconda species snake that resides in the New England Aquarium’s Amazon exhibit. This facility at Boston houses only female snakes to prevent them from reproducing. But Anna clearly did not need any male to have babies. The staffers at the facility discovered these baby snakes in January. The found it was Anna who was giving birth. A DNA test later confirmed that the births were a result of a nonsexual reproduction process known as parthenogenesis, or virgin birth. Cobra Lays Eggs in the Middle of a Street in Karnataka, Video of Rare Sight Goes Viral!

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The condition of Parthenogenesis is extremely rare among vertebrates. It has been seen in only among some lizards, birds, sharks and snakes. With Anna, it is only the second green anaconda that is a confirmed case of a virgin birth. Sara Tempesta, an employee of the New England Aquarium was quoted to Boston Globe, "So with vertebrate species like this anaconda it's mostly been reported in animals that are held in captivity. So it seems to be something with holding these animals apart from males for many years that sort of cues them into reproducing in a different way."

However, out of 18 only 2 of her babies have survived. According to staffers quoted in a news report, these young snakes are exact clones of their mother with respect to genetic sequencing. These babies are not put up in exhibit but the staff is taking good care of them.