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Saturday, 9 February 2008

Virgin birth

Daily Mail published on 7 February an incredible article about Shark's virgin birth in Hungary/ Nyiregyahaza Centre. A shark that lives alown, without seeing any male, in the center's tank for 7 years made one day a perfect pup.

Virgin birth is named parthenogenesis. It happens when females are not fertilized by male.
There are different speciesthat have this way of reproduction
some plants (reproduction is called parthenocarpy)
insects like bees, fleas, aphids, wasps, ants (=in many social insects)
scorpions
lizards
snakes
fishes

Very often the offspring is absolutely equal as the mother (clones. Related post Stick insects -so interesting!)

Natural parthenogenesis is known in birds and sharks too, but happens very rarely. As in this case of this disperate female in acquarium (the team, sad from shame, thinks now to present her a beautiful male).
Artificial (mechanical and chemical) parthenogenesis was tryed with almost all groups of animals ( humans too) but produced incomplete results.

Parthenogenesis in humans is known in many religions (christianesimus, islam). But these stories can't be real because with Virgin birth come out ONLY females.

Sources
Daily Mail
Asexual reproduction
encyclopedia.com
Wikipedia

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