All female lizard species are found in the Southwest & Mexico

February 24th, 2010 - 10:46 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

whiptail-lizard Kansas City, Feb 24 (THAINDIAN NEWS) There is an all-female lizard species – whiptail lizards, which are found in the Southwest and Mexico. Biologists say that they probably resulted from a hybrid of two-closely-related lizard species.

Scientists also say that the whiptail lizards, Aspidoscelis tesselata, have twice as many chromosomes into the cells of their developing eggs. They are able to reproduce sexually without the aid of males, and it is said to be a biological miracle that makes their “parthenogenetic” reproduction possible.

Aracely Lutes of the Stowers Institute led the team, which analyzed the life and times of the all female lizard species, for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo. They reported that 13 chromosomes of the whiptail lizard probably are direct imports from another lizard species. This particular species reproduces in the normal way with the males and females, unlike the same-sex reproduction method of the whiptails. The whiptails female’s lay eggs without any sort of input or contribution from the males. The report says that, “DNA content in somatic (body tissue) cells differed by less than 1% between the two species,” despite their differences in reproduction. The study concludes that, “the striking parallels with whiptail lizards strongly indicate that a common mechanism enables parthenogenetic reproduction in diverse groups of animals.”

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