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After a prehistoric deep-sea frill shark, which traces back by fossils 50 million years (or six thousand years, in Sarah Palin-time), was discovered off the coast of Japan earlier this year, I’ve been convinced that sharks will be responsible for the most important, strange, mystical occurrences of our time.
Lo and behold, strange and mystical occurrences seem to be, uh, occurring! Scientists just confirmed the second “virgin birth,” or parthenogenesis, of a hammerhead shark at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center this week. DNA testing showed no genetic material from a male, meaning that the female shark reproduced a pup entirely on her own (I knew we could do it!).
This is spectacularly fascinating news, but can everyone please avoid sharing this discovery with my parents? I fear that it’ll give them too much juice to revive the ol’ “stay a virgin until you die, or we’ll kill you” mandate, and I just don’t have the energy to figure out asexual reproduction right now. Or virginity reclamasian.