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Shark is Remarkable as it Has "Virgin" Birth


An Epaulette Shark, whose Latin classification is Hemiscyllium ocellatum  has reproduced without any contact with a male.  The shark which is in Brookfield Zoo in Illinois, is a rare example of parthenogenesis - which is the Greek and scientific name for a virgin birth - taking place in an animal like a shark, although other cases are documented.  Mammals are not known to exhibit parthenogenesis, but it is well known about in many other orders of the animal kingdom including birds, sharks, lizards and snakes.  Live Science online says "the females of species capable of parthenogenesis can produce eggs that contain all the genetic information needed for reproduction. Mammals cannot reproduce asexually, because mammals, including humans, require certain genes to come from sperm."  As with homosexuality in animals, parthenogenesis is often brushed under the carpet by the straight media, as it contradicts the supposed naturalness and universality of heterosexual reproduction.   The young shark is doing well and thriving and should be on display at the Zoo soon.  


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Natural World

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