Saturday, 12 January 2008

Woo Hoo! The Saviour of the sharks is born

Shark virgin birth celebrated in Hungary

As it was foretold in ancient times, a saviour will be born to a virgin and she will be named "Jaws"

The white-tipped reef shark, named Ibolya by staff, has been on her own at the Nyiregyhaza Centre since she was born seven years ago.
The pup is being protected by its mother
"When I saw the baby shark lying on the bottom of the tank I thought it was a joke," said Attila Varga, the centre’s director.
"I was amazed when I realised it was a real shark. The mother is very protective of her pup, but as soon as we can, marine biologists want to get a DNA sample from both."
Parthenogenesis, where an egg starts to divide without being fertilised, occurs in a number of lower animals such as bees and ants but, it was thought, not in higher animals including cartilaginous fish such as a shark.
But the new arrival, while boosting visitor numbers, has caused problems for the marina because its shark tank is not big enough for two - and the managers do not want to give up the baby.
What? No room at the inn?
"We are planning to build her a bigger tank, find her a male and then hopefully next time round she can have a baby properly," said Mr Varga.
Marine expert Chris Brown from Weymouth Sea Life Centre said the birth suggested that parthenogenesis was more common than previously thought.
"Of course it will have implications for shark conservation as the species has come under threat through over fishing," he said.
But he also sounded a note of caution. "Although parthenogenesis may help females who cannot find mates, it does reduce genetic diversity and leaves a weaker animal which has a lower chance of survival," he said.

Not only that matey, but females can only give birth, via parhtenogenesis to females. So it's hardly going to be a viable solution to depopulation.

And sadly, for christers who are going "Yes! Bible verified by science once again" Jesus was male, so parthenogenesis is ruled out.

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