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'Miracle' Baby Shark Born In Tank Of Females

Claire Reid

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'Miracle' Baby Shark Born In Tank Of Females

Featured Image Credit: Newsflash

A 'miracle' baby shark has been born in a tank containing all female sharks - and has held no males for more than a decade. 'Miracle shark, doo doo doo'. You can see a clip of it here:

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Scientists think the baby could be the first ever recorded case of parthenogenesis reproduction ever recorded in this specific species.

The shark, which is a female and belongs to the common smooth-hound (or Mustelus mustelus to give it its fancy name) was born in the Acquario Cala Gonone in Sardinia, Italy.

The shark has been named Ispera by staff at the aquarium and is thought to be the result of parthenogenesis reproduction - an asexual reproduction in which an egg can develop into an embryo without being fertilised by a sperm - if correct it would be breakthrough for marine science.

Staff at the aquarium say the mother of little Ispera is one of two females that have spent ten years in the same tank with no males present.

The staff have sent two DNA samples - one from each of the female sharks - to a lab to get the theory confirmed.

Credit: Newsflash
Credit: Newsflash

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic they could be waiting a while for the results to come back.

Parthenogenesis births essentially result in clones of the parents, since the embryo only receives genetic material from one individual.

One of the most usual ways for this form of reproduction to occur is when egg is fertilised by a still immature egg cell that behaves almost like a sperm.

Usually, parthenogenesis happens in lower plants and invertebrate animals like ants, wasps, or bees although it was also noticed in some species like reptiles, fish and even birds who would normally reproduce sexually.

Credit: Newsflash
Credit: Newsflash

However, as yet, it has not been recorded in smooth-hound sharks - meaning, if true, Ispera's birth would be a significant scientific breakthrough.

In March last year, a female Komodo dragon Chattanooga Zoo in Tennessee gave birth to triplets, without having a male partner.

The female, named Charlie, had been placed with a male - Kadal - in the hopes of them breeding.

However, after laying three eggs - which became hatchlings - a DNA test confirmed they were all hers.

Topics: Sharks, World News, Animals

Claire Reid
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