Daniel mentioned this story a few years ago: a lone female zebra shark gave birth to offspring without any father being available. That’s right, a virgin birth.
The zebra shark, named Zebedee, lives in an aquarium in Dubai and has never had access to a male of her species. But unlike some other virgins I could mention, this shark was not content to stop at one. So she’s done it again this year. According to the BBC: “A lone zebra shark in a Dubai aquarium has prompted scientific interest after laying eggs for the fourth year in a row which hatch into healthy offspring.” That’s right, this is her fourth clutch of eggs.
Warren Baverstock, the aquarium’s curator, says that it’s likely other captive shark species possessed this ability all along, but it was simply assumed that the eggs they laid were duds. This ability to reproduce even in the complete absence of males is likely another example of the remarkable evolutionary toolkit that the various shark species possess. It’s also another way in which sharks are completely unstoppable, invincible killing machines, but I suppose that’s a somewhat less scientific piece of analysis.
Hey, buddy, that’s no way to talk about our new lord and savior. Um… litter of lords and saviors? I could see how this is going to make the resulting religion a little bit confusing.