A new squeeze? Snake mystery after lone, elderly python lays clutch of eggs

Professionals at a US zoo are attempting to determine how a 62-year-old ball python laid seven eggs regardless of now not being close to a male python for no less than 20 years.

3 of the eggs from the snake in St Louis zoo stay in an incubator, two have been used for genetic sampling and snakes within the different two eggs didn’t live on, the St Louis Put up-Dispatch reported. The eggs have been laid on 23 July and will have to hatch in a couple of month.

Mark Wanner, supervisor of herpetology on the zoo in Missouri, stated it was once abnormal despite the fact that now not uncommon for ball pythons to breed asexually. The snakes additionally now and again retailer sperm for not on time fertilisation.

The genetic sampling will display whether or not the eggs have been reproduced sexually or asexually, known as facultative parthenogenesis.

The one different ball python within the zoo’s herpetarium is a male elderly about 31. The snakes don’t seem to be on public view.

The feminine snake – which is understood handiest as 361003 – laid a snatch of eggs in 1990 that may were conceived with the male as a result of on the time, the snakes have been installed buckets in combination whilst their cages have been wiped clean.

The delivery is also abnormal as a result of ball pythons most often forestall laying eggs lengthy earlier than they succeed in their 60s, Wanner stated.

“She’d unquestionably be the oldest snake we all know of in historical past,” to put eggs, Wanner stated, noting she is the oldest snake ever documented in a zoo. A non-public proprietor gave the feminine to the zoo in 1961.

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