Animals like reptiles and fish have been known to reproduce without mating. This is called asexual reproduction.
A new study has found that California Condors can also reproduce without mating. According to a report from Reuters, this was discovered by scientists at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Condor chicks were found to have been born from unfertilized eggs. The two chicks were genetically related to the mother, but not a male condor.
Asexual reproduction is exceptionally rare among birds. Perhaps the most interesting aspect as the mother bird did have male mates available. This could be the first account of a bird species that has the ability to reproduce through traditional methods with a male while also being able to reproduce asexually.
This is fascinating stuff. California Condors are the largest birds in North America and have up to a 9-foot wingspan. Their bodies alone can get to be 4-feet long. They were critically endangered and at one time there was believed to be less than 50 remaining in the world. The population has rebounded and now there are approximately 500 California Condors.