10 October 2008

Pup to mom: Where's my daddy

I read a news article from Live Science (via Yahoo) about a shark pup that was conceived (?) through asexual reproduction [parthenogenesis].

"It is possible that parthenogenesis could become more common in these sharks if population densities become so low that females have trouble finding mates," said Mahmood Shivji, one of the scientists and director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

I remember reading up about certain animals changing their sex when there were not enough males around. Am I way off here or is that somehow related to this?

And excuse me if I prefer not to call this a 'virgin birth'.