Shark virgin births seen in two generations for the first time

Neue Erkenntnisse zu den Jungfernzeugungen bei Haien: D.E.G.-Mitglied Nicolas Straube konnte mit Kollegen sogar eine zweite Generation nachweisen!

It wasn't a one-off. Virgin births are far more common than we thought, and can continue for multiple generations. These two surprising findings are overturning everything we knew about parthenogenesis.

Some animals, including Komodo dragons and domestic chickens, can sometimes produce offspring without copulating with a male. Females do this by using one of two methods to add an extra set of chromosomes to their eggs, producing either full- or half-clones of themselves. It had only been seen in captivity – until two virgin births were recently recorded in a wild sawfish and pit viper.

The process was also thought to be a dead end, producing infertile offspring. Now, for the first time, researchers have seen an individual born through parthenogenesis go on to have its own virgin birth.

Weitere lesen: New Scientist