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Snake mystery as old lady python lays seven eggs without male help

The python, which has not been given a name, laid the eggs on July 23. Three of the eggs remain in an incubator, two were used for genetic sampling and snakes in the other two eggs did not survive, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The eggs that survive should hatch in about a month.

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The genetic sampling will show whether they were reproduced sexually or asexually, a process called facultative parthenogenesis.

The only other ball python in the zoo’s herpetarium is a male that’s about 31 years old. The snakes aren’t on public view.

The private owner gave the female to the zoo in 1961. She laid a clutch of eggs in 2009 that didn’t survive. Another clutch was born in 1990 but those eggs might have been conceived with the male because at the time, the snakes were put in buckets together while keepers cleaned their cages.

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