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A baby shark is increasing eyebrows in Italy since it to be born to a mother who hasn"t had contact with a masculine for at the very least a decade.

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The rarely "miracle" has actually yet to be confirmed through DNA analysis, but it appears to it is in a instance of what biologists contact parthenogenesis — asexual reproduction.

The newborn, called Ispera, is likely the very first such recorded case in she genus, known as Mustelus mustelus, follow to employee at the Acquario Cala Gonone in Sardinia.

Scientists have confirmed asexual reproduction in other animals, in cases when a female egg establishes into an embryo without being fertilized through sperm. The result is basically a clone of the parent, an embryo with genetic material from only one individual.


The birth of this shark by parthenogenesis — whereby the woman egg is no fertilized by a male — may be the an initial of its kind in its genus, according to the employee at the Acquario di Cala Gonone in Sardinia, Italy, whereby it to be born. Acquario Cala Gonone/ZengerOne typical procedure for this kind of reproduction is because that an egg to be fertilized through another, less mature egg cell the behaves somewhat favor sperm.

Most instances the asexual reproduction happen in plants and also invertebrate pets like ants, wasps and bees. The has additionally been report in other fish, reptiles and also birds, varieties that typically reproduce sexually.

"Some female sharks have the right to reproduce there is no a male to fertilize the eggs. ... This has actually been documented in Bonnetheads, Blacktips and also Zebra Sharks," according to the nonprofit Shark Trust.

The mother, who pregnancy come as a surprised to aquarium staff, has actually shared a solitary tank with one more female shark for an ext than 10 years. No males have ever been present, follow to the aquarium in Sardinia.

DNA samples indigenous both mrs sharks have been sent out to a laboratory for analysis.

"If confirmed by DNA analysis, it would be the first documented parthenogenesis in the civilization of Mustelus mustelus," the aquarium said on Facebook.

"It would because of this be a scientific discovery of considerable interest due to the fact that it could pave the method for study aimed in ~ verifying just how parthenogenesis is a process that the also use in nature. "


A wonder shark born in ~ the Acquario di Cala Gonone, in Italy, appears to be the result of parthenogenesis, a procedure where a female egg grows into an embryo without gift fertilized by masculine sperm. Acquario Cala Gonone/ZengerThe smooth-hound shark, which is gray or gray-brown, is typically about 16 inches long at birth. Males reach 3.6 feet in length and females can flourish to 5.4 feet. They are uncovered in the eastern Atlantic s from great Britain come the Mediterranean, and in both Morocco and the Canary Islands. They are additionally found in south Africa along the Indian ocean coast.

The worldwide Union because that the conservation of Nature considers the varieties "vulnerable," one step listed below declaring the "endangered," follow to released results that the organization"s 2016 Mediterranean survey. Aquariums in the region are make the efforts to each other them and restock the sea — and also to understand just how the sharks reproduce in the wild.

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"Ispera, the name favored for the baby, in Sardinian way "hope," and a bear in the COVID era definitely is," the aquarium stated on Facebook.