CNN posted an interesting news item about a female hammerhead shark who fertilized its own egg without sperm from males, according to a joint Northern Ireland-US research published in the Royal Society’s peer-reviewed Biology Letter journal.
The baby was killed within hours of its birth by a stingray in the same tank. Analysis of its DNA found no trace of any chromosomal contribution from a male partner.
Shark experts said this was the first confirmed case in a shark of parthenogenesis, which is derived from Greek and means “virgin birth.”
Asexual reproduction is common in some insect species, rarer in reptiles and fish, and has never been documented in mammals. The list of animals documented as capable of the feat has grown along with the numbers being raised in captivity — but until now, sharks were not considered a likely candidate.
Fascinating. And poor little guy was taken out by The Circle of Life before he even had a chance. Another victim of a single-parent home. Oooooh, Mama tried, mama tried. I wonder if they will campaign for protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act? I wonder … Continue reading