parthenogenesis

Use the scientific term parthenogenesis to describe an animal's asexual reproduction — in other words, the process of an embryo growing without being fertilized.

It's all the rage today, as scientists discover more and more animals that can reproduce from the female without help from the male. Many plants develop through parthenogenesis, as well as invertebrates, fish, reptiles, and insects. The roots of the word itself are Greek, and mean essentially "maiden borne," from parthenos, "virgin," and genesis, "origin."

Definitions of parthenogenesis
  1. noun
    process in which an unfertilized egg develops into a new individual; common among insects and some other arthropods
    synonyms: parthenogeny
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    types:
    androgenesis, androgeny
    male parthenogenesis in which the embryo contains only paternal chromosomes due to the failure of the egg nucleus to participate in fertilization
    gynogenesis
    female parthenogenesis in which the embryo contains only maternal chromosomes due to the failure of the sperm to fuse with the egg nucleus
    type of:
    apomixis
    any of several kinds of reproduction without fertilization
  2. noun
    human conception without fertilization by a man
    synonyms: parthenogeny, virgin birth
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    type of:
    agamogenesis, asexual reproduction
    reproduction without the fusion of gametes
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