A “miracle” shark was just born in a tank full of females who have been living together for years. The baby was born at the Acquario Cala Gonone in Sardinia, Italy in a tank where two female smooth-hound sharks have lived for the past decade. But it’s actually not that strange.
According to The New York Post, Zookeepers believe that the baby is a clone of its mother. This occurred through a phenomenon called parthenogenesis when an embryo is fertilized by a polar cell. Polar cells are a byproduct of meiosis. During parthenogenesis, these polar cells are used as supplemental DNA.
The New York Post made an Instagram post about the new baby.
“Baby shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo. A baby #shark was born where two female smooth-hound sharks have resided for the past decade — without a single male present. Link in our bio for details. (Photo Credit): Acquario Cala Gonone/Newsflash,” the account wrote.
It is one of the many things that make certain species unique. However, this phenomenon isn’t observed in all species, making smooth-hounds special.
According to the Shark Research Institute, These sharks, known as smoothhound sharks, typically reside on upper slopes and continental shelves. They are also often found in intertidal zones. They typically live around the east Atlantic near the UK, Mediterranean, and Morocco.
Thankfully, smoothhounds are still quite common. However, other species have suffered from a severely dwindling population.
According To Shark Experts, Most Attacks Start out Friendly
Recently, Australian scientists and advocates pushed to re-brand shark attacks to “interactions.” This is because most encounters with the animal aren’t intentional attacks. In fact, Over a third of encounters end in no injury according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Nathan Hart, a scientist and an associate professor at Macquarie University told the Herald That the fish don’t even intend harm most of the time. Instead, they are curious creatures and use their teeth to “feel out” their surroundings.
“Sharks don’t have hands. So, if they want to explore something, they mouth it. very rarely are humans consumed by sharks.”
Therefore, In Queensland and New South Wales, officials are now labeling what would have been called “attacks” as “bites” or “negative encounters.”
Dr. Leonardo Guida, a shark researcher at the Australian Marine Conservation Society explained that the re-brand is important. Many shark species are facing the looming threat of extinction.
“It helps dispel inherent assumptions that sharks are ravenous, mindless man-eating monsters,” he explained.
Nathan Hart also explained that the change in terminology could help protect the species from humans with misconceptions.
“The [last] thing we want is people killing a lot of sharks,” he explained. Hopefully, this miracle baby makes good press for the species.