A female shark spontaneously gave birth after years of solitude. How does this happen, and can humans do the same?
Special thanks to Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium http://www.reefhq.com.au/
In a First, Shark Switches from Sexual to Asexual Reproduction
“While other sharks have reproduced without a mate, in a process called parthenogenesis, in which embryos develop without fertilization, the researchers there say Leonie is the first shark documented to have once produced offspring via mating and then jumped to doing so without a mate.”
Switch from sexual to parthenogenetic reproduction in a zebra shark
“Parthenogenesis is a natural form of asexual reproduction in which embryos develop in the absence of fertilisation. Most commonly found in plants and invertebrate organisms, an increasing number of vertebrate species have recently been reported employing this reproductive strategy.”
FYI: Could A Virgin Birth Ever Happen?
“Virgin birth, known to scientists as parthenogenesis, appears to be rather common in the animal kingdom. Many insects and other invertebrates are capable of switching between sexual and clonal reproduction. Among the vertebrates, virgin births have been documented in at least 80 taxonomic groups, including fish, amphibians, and reptiles.”
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