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Monday, June 25, 2007

Who's The Daddy?

Who would have guessed.

Experts and veterinarians from a Virginia aquarium, are trying to figure out who's the daddy.

Unfortunately, a female black tip shark, named Tidbit, died suddenly. This was after she had reacted badly to sedatives during a normal check up. When an autopsy was conducted, she was found to have been pregnant.

Surprise!


The kicker here is that there weren't any male black tips in the aquarium, and sharks only breed with other sharks of the same species.

Hmm. So, how did Tidbit become pregnant? Veterinarian Bob George said, "We must have had hanky panky' in the shark tank..." Yes Bob, it must have been something like that.


Actually, there are two possibilities. Either crossbreeding or asexual reproduction. There was a study recently, which was the first confirmed case of "asexual reproduction, or parthenogenesis, among sharks". There was a pup born at a Nebraska zoo, and it came from "an egg that developed in a female shark without sperm from a male."

Ooh, it's like magic.

Asexual reproduction: "an egg splits in two and DNA contributed from the mother doubles, so each resulting egg has a full complement of chromosomes from the female. The eggs then fuse, producing a single embryo with no DNA from a father."

Crossbreeding: The daddy Tiger shark and the mommy Black Tip shark love each other, even though they are different, and then... Well if I have to explain that to you, then you really should go back to 6th grade health class.

The aquarium and researchers are running DNA tests to see if they can determine the species of the pup's daddy. If tests confirm crossbreeding, that would be a "first among sharks."

I think, that if they do find out who the daddy is, it would probably be the first interesting episode for Jerry Springer or Maury in a long time. Not that I watch, but come on... "You are the father!"

Information (mostly the quotes above) found from C to the double N. I don't guarantee it's 100% true, because it's the media, but I will show my sources.


5 thoughtful comments:

mommiebear2 said...

Thats pretty interesting, imagine what it would be like if us humans could so that.

Biddy said...

glad i'm not the only one who found this utterly interesting and so very Jerry Springerish! I love the scientific explanation "hanky panky in the shark tank"

man...these guys are BRILLIANT!

Hol&J said...

mommiebear2 - If humans could do that, it would be scary. You know the saying that says, "stupid people shouldn't breed"? Just think if everyone from Springer or Maury could reproduce asexually. Gah!

biddy - It is very interesting, even with the "hanky panky" humor. At least the aquarium is getting some publicity, and it isn't really harmful.

slouching mom said...

I was just explaining asexual reproduction to my younger son, who asked (yikes): how did the first person get on earth if there was no mommy?

So we went over evolution, and we started talking about very early organisms, and there it was: asexual reproduction.

(My son was horrified at the thought of it. More specifically, that he might be able to do it.)

Biddy said...

p.s. no need to appologize! jake is mistaken for a girl ALOT...and i love that you thought it was me...he's beautiful so i take that as a huge compliment!

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