Female sharks can apparently fertilize own eggs
AP is reporting:
Female sharks can fertilize their own eggs and give birth without sperm from males, according to a new study of the asexual reproduction of a hammerhead in a U.S. zoo.
The joint Northern Ireland-U.S. research, being published Wednesday in the Royal Society’s peer-reviewed Biology Letter journal, analyzed the DNA of a shark born in 2001 in the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb. The shark was born in a tank with three potential mothers, none of whom had contact with a male hammerhead for at least three years.
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.”