Study confirms virgin birth of zoo shark pup

Remember a few years ago when we reported a shark that was born to a virgin mother? Here’s an update:

Scientists have solved the mystery of how a baby shark appeared in a tank of females without the help of a male: it was a virgin birth. The bonnethead shark was born through “parthenogenesis”, a process where an egg develops into an embryo without being fertilised by sperm.

Virgin births, possible in some birds, amphibians, reptiles and bony fishes, are extremely rare. It had never before been confirmed in cartilaginous fish, such as sharks and rays. The birth, in 2001, astonished scientists as placental animals, including this shark, were thought to need genetic material from sperm and egg to produce viable young.

Full Story: The Guardian.

(Thanks Ulysses Lazarus).


  1. Tell me this has nothing to do with Mary Cheney’s offspring. C’mon, I dares ya.

  2. um, I saw this on the local news the other day, here in the Great Plains.

    the part of the story that got off the clip there:

    “The shark pup was born at the Henry Doorly zoo, Omaha, Nebraska,”


    Our Mutants are freakier than YOUR mutants, Portland!


    good spot, Lazarus.

  3. also, do you think the Virgin Birth of Jeshua Bin Joseph might be a reality, explained by this sort of thing?

    maybe it was one of the first times, of a super rare legitimate Human Virgin Birth???

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