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parthenogenesis

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A form of reproduction in which an unfertilized egg develops into a new individual, occurring commonly among insects and certain other arthropods.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Referring to various aspects of asexual reproduction:
  • n. figurative uses of the biologic senses
  • n. Virgin birth, in reference to the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The production of new individuals from virgin females by means of ova which have the power of developing without the intervention of the male element; the production, without fertilization, of cells capable of germination. It is one of the phenomena of alternate generation. Cf. heterogamy, and metagenesis.
  • n. The production of seed without fertilization, believed to occur through the nonsexual formation of an embryo extraneous to the embryonic vesicle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Reproduction by a virgin; in zoology, one of the phenomena attending alternate generation among animals which have sex, a kind of agamogenesis in which an imperfect female individual, hatched from an egg laid by a perfect female after ordinary sexual intercourse, continues to reproduce its kind for one or more generations without renewed impregnation. Parthenogenesis characterizes the reproduction of many insects, as aphids or plant-lice.
  • n. In botany: The production of a perfect embryo without the intervention of pollen.
  • n. Alternation of generations; metagenesis.
  • n. The type of parthenogenesis in which the fertilized eggs produce only one sex.
  • n. The normal development of some of the eggs laid by a female animal without fertilization, as in the honey-bee. After the nuptial flight the queen bee returns to the hive with the spermatic receptacle filled with spermatozoa, which retain their vitality for the rest of her life, and fertilize some of the eggs, but not all, as they pass through the oviduct past the duct of the spermatic receptacle. The eggs that are not fertilized develop into male bees or drones, while the fertilized eggs produce females, which may become queens or perfect females, or workers or arrested females, according to the treatment which they receive from the workers after they have been laid. The workers, which make no nuptial flight and are incapable of sexual union, sometimes lay eggs which give rise to males.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. process in which an unfertilized egg develops into a new individual; common among insects and some other arthropods
  • n. human conception without fertilization by a man

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

New Latin : Greek parthenos, virgin + genesis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

parthen- (biologic and figurative senses: “absence of fertilisation”, “asexual reproduction”; theologic sense: “virgin”) (from Ancient Greek παρθένος (parthenos, "virgin")) + -o- +‎ -genesis (“mode of generation”) (from Ancient Greek γένεσις (genesis, "origin”, “creation”, “generation"))

Examples

  • It is the pupa, and not the larva, of the Chironomus which has this power; and Grimm further shows that this case, to a certain extent, “unites that of the Cecidomyia with the parthenogenesis of the Coccidæ, ” the term parthenogenesis implying that the mature females of the Coccidæ are capable of producing fertile eggs without the concourse of the males.

    XIV. Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology-Embryology-Rudimentary Organs. Development and Embryology

  • It may have been that they had gone on by what we call parthenogenesis, and we had the children without the father, had the female parent only, the fatherless chinkapin.

    Northern Nut Growers Association, Report Of The Proceedings At The Tenth Annual Meeting. Battle Creek, Michigan, December 9 and 10, 1919

  • Scientists from all over the world have been studying the case of the virgin shark birth around the clock and have come to the conclusion that the female hammerhead shark of Omaha gave birth to the baby hammerhead shark through a process known in medical circles as parthenogenesis, which is a Greek word that apparently means "hammerhead shark birth in the absence of hammerhead shark banging, especially when the hammerhead shark in question is totally not a ho even though everyone used to think that but whatever."

    Dave Hill: Exciting News From The Shark Community

  • Flora has never mated, or even mixed, with a male dragon, and fertilized all the eggs herself, a process culminating in parthenogenesis, or virgin birth.

    Archive 2006-12-01

  • Virgin birth, known to biologists as parthenogenesis from the Greek, “parthen” meaning virgin or maiden and “genesis,” beginning, has been seen in other species over the years.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • He added: "Breeding without the opposite gender is commonly known as parthenogenesis, other animals that don't need males include a lot of lizards and various snails."

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Speaking of weiners, I'm working on an article on shark virgin birth - aka parthenogenesis - and why sex evolved in the first place.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Some species of lizards are all mothers: in a process called parthenogenesis, they somehow trigger their unfertilized eggs to start developing.

    Parasite Rex

  • “I love this word parthenogenesis,” David Page, an expert on sex evolution at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., told me.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • And of course this process is called parthenogenesis (ph).

    CNN Transcript Dec 21, 2006

Comments

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  • The last woman whe had this "happen" to her really stuck to her story.

    They even made a spin-off religion out of it.. I heard it took quite nicely.

    July 24, 2009

  • I wish I could do this.

    May 23, 2008

  • Every time I see this word, I think of the spontaneous creation of ancient classical buildings. Now THAT would be fun.

    May 24, 2007

  • Good thing this can't happen to dogs and cats! Imagine the line at the ASPCA.

    May 24, 2007

  • Apparently sharks can do this.

    May 23, 2007