A shark gave birth to a cub without fertilization (photo)

Bylim Olena

 A shark gave birth to a cub without fertilization (photo)

At Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, a female epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum) has given birth to a calf without a male. This is the first recorded case of parthenogenesis here, where a female shark laid an egg without being fertilized by a male and it hatched.

Epauletus sharks usually reach sexual maturity at age 7, and this particular individual has not lived with a male since 2019. However, in 2022, she began laying eggs. One of these eggs was fertile and hatched on Aug. 23, the zoo said.

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The baby epaulette shark is now eating well and developing normally. According to Mike Mazellis, lead animal care specialist at Brookfield Zoo, the cub will be introduced to zoo visitors in the near future.

Parthenogenesis is a type of sexless reproduction in which an embryo develops from an unfertilized egg. This process has been observed in many animal species, including fish, reptiles, birds and mammals.

 A shark gave birth to a cub without fertilization (photo)

In the case of the epaulet shark, it is possible that the egg was fertilized by a polar calf, a small cell that forms at the same time as the egg. However, it is possible that parthenogenesis occurred by another process that is not yet fully understood.

This case of parthenogenesis in the epaulet shark is another example of how animals can adapt to new environments. In this case, a female shark with no access to males was able to give birth to a cub through parthenogenesis.

Recall, in Botswana, in Botswana, tourists from the United States were attacked by a hippo. He attacked the SUV, in which there were Americans - tourists wanted to photograph the animal near the river.

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