boa constrictor

The female boa constrictor that has found away to reproduce without mating. Image by Warren Booth.

A female boa constrictor is found to have reproduced without the help of her male counterparts. Despite my catchy title, they are really only half clones-they got two copies of half of her chromosomes, which in my estimation is even more striking than a straight clone. Also, interestingly enough, she wouldn’t do this when there where no males present. Only in the presense of 4 males, none of whom could possibly be the “father,” would she reproduce-without their help. Asexual reproduction is incredibly rare in vertebrates-as far as we know. For a more detailed explation, check out BBC news.