Scientists Create All-Female Species of Lizard

Who needs males when you have parthenogenesis? With a little help from science, biologist Peter Baumann and collagues have created an all-female lizard species:

Researchers have bred a new species of all-female lizard, mimicking a process that has happened naturally in the past but has never been directly observed.

“It’s recreating the events that lead to new species,” said cell biologist Peter Baumann of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, whose new species is described May 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “It relates to the question of how these unisexual species arise in the first place.”


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What makes this "different" is the fact that this is the first time scientists have created a species like this in the lab. Organisms like this have been found many times in nature, but whenever people tried to make them in the lab, the offspring were sterile and could not reproduce. This is the first time people have made all female lizards than can successfully reproduce. Neat!
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How's this different to the New Mexico whiptail? It's an all female species which reproduces through cloning and probably has been doing so long before scientists were about.
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Yea, so parthenogenesis only really works to create genetic clones. What makes XY sex-determination potentially better is genetic diversity. It's believed that in X0 lizards the occasional mutation occurs producing a male off-spring which allows for diversity wherein cloning is the dominant form of reproduction.

Of course cloning is not very adaptive
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Hey, btw, if you are really interested in the HHMI DVDs you can get free copies from

A few years ago I managed to get them to send me all of their DVDs, like 20 of them and I'm not even a US resident. All I had to do was fill out the form on the website.
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