Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Female shark due for ‘virgin birth’ at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre

She has been the only member of her species at the centre and has had no contact with male sharks

Wednesday 10 February 2016

A female shark could be set to give birth to two babies despite not having had contact with males for more than two years.

Experts at the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre have said that the white spotted bamboo shark has produced two fertile eggs which could hatch at any time after 15 weeks. 

Chiloscyllium plagiosum newport.jpgThe so-called virgin birth is known as parthenogenesis - a process which does not involve input from a male. It was recorded for the first time in sharks in 2001, and has since been seen in the bamboo, bonnethead, blacktip and zebra species.

Darren Gook, a marine biologist and shark expert, said: “Females somehow manage to add an extra set of chromosomes to their eggs to produce off-spring which are either clones or half-clones of themselves."

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