A ball python in a zoo in Missouri, USA, has laid a couple of eggs, but it has puzzled zoo keepers because the snake had not been near a male in 15 years.
According to reports, a 62-year-old female ball python at the St. Louis Zoo laid eggs despite not having near a male in the last 15 years.
Another thing that is baffling the staff at the zoo is that pythons stop laying eggs before they hit the age of 60.
On July 23, something incredible happened at the Charles H. Hoessle Herpetarium at the Saint Louis Zoo — a ball python laid eggs! That might not sound too thrilling to some, but to our Herpetarium staff it definitely was. This particular female snake is over 50 years old (the oldest snake documented in a Zoo) and has not been with a male in over 15 years! Ball pythons, native to central and western Africa, are known to reproduce sexually and asexually, which is called facultative parthenogenesis. Snakes are also known to store sperm for delayed fertilization. Now the question is, which of the two explanations is the reason for the eggs? Without genetic testing, Zoo staff won't know if this ball python reproduced sexually or asexually, but they intend to find out. As the keepers continue to incubate the eggs, they will be sending off samples for genetic testing. #KeeperPerspective #BringTheStlZooToYou
Posted by Saint Louis Zoo on Thursday, 3 September 2020
Mark Wanner, a zoological manager of herpetology at the Missouri zoo, said that the ball python that gave birth recently is now the oldest snake in history to lay eggs.
St. Louis Zoo explained that ball pythons are capable of reproducing sexually and asexually.
These snakes are native to central and western Africa.
In an explanation that was released to the public last week, the St. Louis Zoo said:
Snakes are also known to store sperm for delayed fertilization. Now the question is, which of the two explanations is the reason for the eggs? Without genetic testing, Zoo staff won’t know if this ball python reproduced sexually or asexually.
The post that was made by the zoo is currently viral because this is the only known of the first case of such an incident.
The ball python that we are talking about does not have an official name. She came to live at the zoo in 1961.
According to the Daily Mail, the snake laid 7 eggs on July 23, 2020.
Out of the many eggs, 3 of them are currently in an incubator and 2 of them did not survive. The last remaining 2 were sent for genetic testing.
Nature is amazing and it just continues to amaze everyone.