Biologists swear they’ve uncovered indisputable evidence of a “virgin birth” in a Virginia aquarium — and it’s not the first time, either. A female shark birthed a baby with no male genetic material, they say, citing DNA tests (and the fact that no male sharks had been anywhere near her). A similar phenomenon was observed previously with a shark in a Nebraska zoo.
So what’s the deal? The scientists think the process, dubbed parthenogensis, is just something female sharks “can do on occasion.” (Thank God human women haven’t figured it out yet.) They say the process likely won’t help increase populations on any large scale, though; the asexual reproductions thus far have resulted in only one offspring at a time, whereas typical reproductions can lead to a dozen little sharkies in a single shot.
Researchers say they’ve also seen “virgin births” in some bony fish as well as in reptiles, amphibians, and birds. And no, Jamie Lynn…it’s never happened in teenage girls. Nice try, though.