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05/23/2007 09:13 AM ID: 62620 Permalink   

The Mystery of the Virgin Shark Birth Solved

 

Scientists have finally discovered how a baby hammerhead shark came to be born at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska back in 2001. There were only three female sharks in the tank and none of them had had contact with a male in at least three years.

Initially the scientists thought that sharks might have the ability to store sperm. Testing revealed that the baby only had it's mother's DNA, proving that sharks are capable of parthenogenesis, or conception without male fertilisation.

"The findings were really surprising. As far as anyone knew, all sharks reproduced only sexually by a male and female mating – requiring the embryo to get DNA from both parents for full development, just like in mammals," said Dr Paulo Prodohl.

 
  Source: www.metro.co.uk  
    WebReporter: ixuzus Show Calling Card      
  Recommendation:  
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
   
  19 Comments
  
  See now if only...  
 
women could do this, Oh crap! We're doomed...
 
  by: Zmethod     05/23/2007 09:33 AM     
  I know  
 
some insects can, but I've never heard of a large animal able too.
 
  by: Gogevandire   05/23/2007 10:05 AM     
  This  
 
is huge news!
 
  by: p_g_chris   05/23/2007 11:19 AM     
  large animals  
 
it's called parthenogenesis. whiptail lizards are known for it, as the entire species is female. i also believe there was a story here about a komodo dragon doing it in captivity. no mammals to my knowledge though.
 
  by: ManilaRyce     05/23/2007 12:28 PM     
  WOW this is TRULY amazing  
 
This is awesome! Sharks are awe-inspiring creatures, truly! Great find buddy. I have been diving with hammerheads and they are simply awesome creatures. To share the same swimming space with a 14 foot 800 lbs animal that can tear you to shreds yet chooses to curiously check you out as you do it is the biggest high in this world!

I truly we can balance our world and stop killing these marvelous creatures... This made my day as an amateur Ichytologist (Im sure I killed the spelling but u get the point)
 
  by: swordfizh   05/23/2007 02:05 PM     
  never happened before???  
 
where are the bible literialists now...

"god" impregnated this shark...lol

on a serious note, if this is true for other types of sharks, i'm thinking specifically the great white shark, this could help explain their long term successfulness as a species even above and beyond being a supreme killing machine.
 
  by: havoc666     05/23/2007 03:15 PM     
  hmmmm  
 
Was it a shark that could walk on water?
 
  by: theironboard     05/23/2007 03:45 PM     
  @King?  
 
Is the baby king of the Jaws?
 
  by: barr.134   05/23/2007 04:00 PM     
  Parthenogenesis  
 
Many hundreds of species undergo parthenogenesis, and that is excluding invertebrates, for aesexual reproduction shouldn't count in this list in my oinion.

Every time you turn around there are accounts of parthenogenesis ocurring in another snake or lizard, given enough sexual stress (kept as a pet or exhibition without exposure to males) and it is widely accepted that not only can many amphibians undergo parthenogenesis, they can actually transform from one sex to the other, known as dichogomy, in which there is protogyny and protandry...do a google. That this happens in quite a number of reef fishes that are actinopterygii (spiny-ray-finned fishes) it should not have been that big of a surprize to anyone that a more primitive Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish, which includes sharks) can undergo the same process. Still, being the first documented and proven case, I guess it is still somewhat newsworthy.
 
  by: super_270   05/23/2007 07:02 PM     
  havoc  
 
Logic Flaw, and I see it everywhere:

The pedicate if X then Y, does not imply if Y then X

To whit, if parthenogenesis occurs in a shark, occurs in reptiles, can theoretically occur in mammals does not in anyway imply that a particular instance occured by parthenogenesis.

It's the same with the flamingoes. Just because homosexual traits can be displayed by animals naturally, does not mean all homosexual traits are developed gnetically, in fact it gives no proprotionality to nature/nurture except for the specific instance being observed.

Logic is your friend.
 
  by: lauriesman     05/24/2007 03:20 AM     
  WOW this is TRULY amazing  
 
This is awesome! Sharks are awe-inspiring creatures, truly! Great find buddy. I have been diving with hammerheads and they are simply awesome creatures. To share the same swimming space with a 14 foot 800 lbs animal that can tear you to shreds yet chooses to curiously check you out as you do it is the biggest high in this world!

I truly we can balance our world and stop killing these marvelous creatures... This made my day as an amateur Ichytologist (Im sure I killed the spelling but u get the point)
 
  by: swordfizh   05/24/2007 04:35 AM     
  Does all this mean  
 
in a few thousand years, we guys will no longer need a penis?
 
  by: White Albino   05/24/2007 10:32 AM     
  HAVOC  
 
Hmm...I do see your point. However, My point was that while yes, it needed to be proven and documented as such, that parthenogenesis occurs in sharks should not be such a big surprize. Logic actually should dictate that it is not only possible but probable.

My last post may have sounded blasé, but trust me, I was excited about the news. Just not so....surprized.
 
  by: super_270   05/24/2007 03:17 PM     
  @havoc666  
 
Something tells me that me and you are going to get along very well on this site.
 
  by: darkrom666   05/24/2007 07:26 PM     
  As an amature "movie buff"  
 
In the movie "Jurassic Park" the Protagonist Dr. (I forget the character's name) states that it is well documented that certain mammalian African frogs change gender if not enough male frogs are around, for the survival of the species. This is said somewhere after he finds out that the park people spliced the dinosaur DNA with frog DNA. I seem to recall the specific instance is when the Dr. finds dinosaur eggs by a tree.
So, theoretically speaking, human women might be able to change gender if left alone from men for long enough... I mean, it is proven that a group of women when living together will have their cycles matching each others after some time..
So yes, I agree with Super270, this is not surprising, but definitely news worthy as confirmation of a female being able to give birth unassisted by males in any way.
Maybe the Virgin Mary really was just a homely loner girl who Joseph had to Mary because in those days, Jews had arranged marriages from the children's birth..?
And before anyone asks or accuses or curses or anything, yes, I am a Heathen, and DAMNED PROUD!
 
  by: Allanthar     05/24/2007 07:43 PM     
  Movie Science  
 
I really wouldn't base my suppositions on Hollywood scripts-- on the other hand, we've all been corrupted to some degree by media and have bizarre notions of the various branches of science.

First thing I think of is how 99.99 percent of sci-fi films ignore Newtonian physics and spaceships fly like jets in outer-space; really,that's quite stupid. But we accept it without question. I suppose you can force a space vehicle to fly like the that, but it'd really be a waste of time and energy!

 
  by: theironboard     05/24/2007 09:55 PM     
  @White Albino  
 
No, it means that if women wanted to kill all men, they could just go f*** themselves.

Wait, that came out wrong ...
 
  by: l´anglais     05/26/2007 04:53 AM     
  @allanthar  
 
There is no such thing as a 'mammalian frog' - frogs are not mammals, they are amphibians. :P

Also, there are two main purposes for the development of "lock and key" genetalia. The first is to prevent inter-species breeding (in some insects even members of the same species may be unable to procreate due to the highly specialised design). The second is to ensure a mix of DNA from two hosts, which keeps the gene pool vital and helps prevent stagnation and degeneration.

Women would only be able to self-fertilize in a situation where male DNA was not available, but even so, a couple of generations of that would see the introduction of significant degenerative genics. Same reason it's a bad idea to procreate with your sister for example, or first relatives.
 
  by: lauriesman     05/28/2007 01:20 AM     
  @lauriesman  
 
As anyone who knows animal husbandry know, it is not always a bad idea to mate brother with sister, igf you are trying to breed a line for specific traits. In fact breeding back to grandpa or grandma is a recommened strategy. The problem lies in breeding whole populations that way. The main stresor driving sexual versus asexual reproduction in species with longer genomes is resistance to viruses. It is not surprising to find an ancient species reproducing by parthenogenesis under stressed conditions. If lizards can do it, why not sharks?
 
  by: evilhare   06/27/2007 06:47 PM     
 
 
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