A Virgin Shall Be With Pup

And a virgin shall be with pup, and shall bring forth a hammerhead, and they shall call his name Elasmobranch which being interpreted is, to beat the gill…

Three female hammerheads in a tank in Nebraska and no males in site for three years. Poof! A pup is born. Realizing that the important part is really the first discovery of asexual reproduction in sharks, I cannot get over the idea that these poor females are stuck in Nebraska and getting no sex.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

4 Replies to “A Virgin Shall Be With Pup”

  1. And how many of us here had this quote below in their head?

    Henry Wu: You’re implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will… breed?
    Dr. Ian Malcolm: No, I’m simply saying that life, uh… finds a way.

  2. Tsk, tsk, you are assuming they are all heterosexual sharks. If they can do parthenogenesis, maybe they can do other stuff for each other. Or for themselves, who knows? Did their keepers give them any shark toys?

    I can’t believe I just wrote this. Shark toys.

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