Wednesday, May 23, 2007

 

Captive shark had ‘virgin birth’

‘Female hammerhead sharks can reproduce without having sex, scientists confirm.

The evidence comes from a shark at Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska which gave birth to a pup in 2001 despite having had no contact with a male.

Genetic tests by a team from Belfast, Nebraska and Florida prove conclusively the young animal possessed no paternal DNA, Biology Letters journal reports.

The type of reproduction exhibited had been seen before in bony fish but never in cartilaginous fish such as sharks.

Parthenogenesis, as this type of reproduction is known, occurs when an egg cell is triggered to develop as an embryo without the addition of any genetic material from a male sperm cell.’




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