To the surprise of scientists, giant endangered fish with sawlike snouts in Florida are experiencing virgin births, reproducing without sex. This is the first solid evidence of such asexual reproduction in the wild for any animal with a backbone, scientists added. Asexual reproduction is often seen among invertebrates — that is, animals without backbones. It happens rarely in vertebrates, but instances are increasingly being discovered — only observed to survive in captivity previously. For example, the Komodo dragon, the world's largest living lizard, has given birth via parthenogenesis, in which an unfertilized egg develops to maturity. Such virgin births have also been seen in sharks, in birds such as chickens and turkeys, and in snakes such as pit vipers and boa constrictors. Such virgin-born offspring are known as parthenogens.
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