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

n process in which an unfertilized egg develops into a new individual; common among insects and some other arthropods

androgenesis, androgeny
male parthenogenesis in which the embryo contains only paternal chromosomes due to the failure of the egg nucleus to participate in fertilization
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:
any of several kinds of reproduction without fertilization

n human conception without fertilization by a man

parthenogeny, virgin birth
Type of:
agamogenesis, asexual reproduction
reproduction without the fusion of gametes

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