Parthenogenesis

By utter coincidence, I happened to be at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha early last week close to the filming of an ABC news piece about an event that had never before been documented among sharks. The zoo had just concluded an exhaustive six year study, confirming that a Hammerhead Shark, captured as an immature female and having never come into contact with males, had given birth to a pup. It was releasing the results of the study during my brief visit.

Since the pup inherited only the mother's genetic material, it doesn't augur well for the species should asexual reproduction become more common. And as it turns out, other species at the aquarium had also reproduced asexually, raising the issue of whether confinement had somehow triggered the event.

The New York Times has this story on the development.

Wayne

Wikipedia: parthenogenesis