Python mom does it alone

Experts at the St. Louis Zoo are trying to figure out how a 62-year-old ball python laid seven eggs despite not being near a male python for at least two decades.

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September 11, 2020 - 2:34 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Experts at the St. Louis Zoo are trying to figure out how a 62-year-old ball python laid seven eggs despite not being near a male python for at least two decades.

Mark Wanner, manager of herpetology at the zoo, said it unusual but not rare for ball pythons to reproduce asexually. The snakes also sometimes store sperm for delayed fertilization.

The birth also is unusual because ball pythons usually stop laying eggs long before they reach their 60s, Wanner said.

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