Monday, January 14, 2008

Virgin birth celebrated in Hungary

A Hungarian aquarium is celebrating an extrordinary virgin birth after its lone female shark produced a pup without ever having come into contact with a male shark. The white-tipped reef shark, named Ibolya by staff, has been on her own at the Nyiregyhaza Centre since she was born seven years ago. "I was amazed when I realised it was a real shark. The mother is very protective of her pup, but as soon as we can, marine biologists want to get a DNA sample from both." Parthenogenesis, where an egg starts to divide without being fertilised, occurs in a number of lower animals such as bees and ants but, it was thought, not in higher animals including cartilaginous fish such as a shark. Source

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