(WJW) – Scientists have documented the first known example of a “virgin birth” in a crocodile, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Biology Letters.

The female crocodile was in isolation for 16 years. she laid 14 eggs in 2018, and after three months of incubation, one of the eggs contained a “fully formed stillborn baby crocodile” resulting from facultative parthenogenesis, which is when females can produce viable offspring with any genetic contribution from a male.

The phenomenon has been recorded in other reptiles, but this marks the first time it has been associated with a crocodile, leading scientists to believe it could provide insight into the reptile’s ancestors dating back to the Triassic or Permian period.