01 November 2021

Celbrate diversity: Charasmatic California condors can without consumation

California condor in flight


It’s been fascinating to watch species that have been well studied suddenly and unexpectedly show that they can reproduce by parthenogenesis. The latest entry to the club is perhaps the most surprising yet: the critically endangered California condor.

The story is making the rounds on science news, but the original technical article is here.

Two males were generated by parthenogenesis. This is in contrast to many other cases of parthenogenesis, where offspring are exclusively female. Birds have a ZW chromosome system, where the females have different sex chromosomes. The males have two of the same sex chromosome. I suppose that in theory, the condors could produce offspring of either sex by parthenogenesis?



Ryder OA, Thomas S, Judson JM, Romanov MN, Dandekar S, Papp JC, Sidak-Loftis LC, Walker K, Stalis IH, Mace M, Steiner CC, Chemnick LG. Facultative parthenogenesis in California condors. Journal of Heredity: In press. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esab052


External links


After 30 Years of Breeding Condors, a Secret Comes Out

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