BOSTON (CBS) – Educators at the Boston Children's Museum received quite the surprise this summer when a snake they presumed for the last decade was a male produced eggs.
Ball python Oliver, now known as Ollie, has been with the museum for 12 years. Ollie has been living with no mate at the home of Boston Children's Museum science program director Alissa Daniels for just over a year.
Ollie is normally friendly and curious, but several weeks ago Daniels noticed changes in the snake's behavior. The snake was acting as it normally does when it's about to shed its skin, but it is too soon for that to happen.
Instead, Daniels came into the room and found Ollie with eggs.
"My first reaction was Ollie is a girl and secondly, she had eggs? I was completely flabbergasted," Daniels said. "What an exciting little chapter in Ollie's story."
Many species of invertebrates can produce offspring without mating, though it is rare.
After a veterinarian examined Ollie, it was determined she is indeed a female.
The eggs were determined to be not viable and had to be disposed.
Ollie will remain at Daniels' home, but is expected return to the Boston Children's Museum in the near future.
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