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A captive female zebra shark separated from its mate for three years has given birth to juvenile sharks. Select photos courtesy Tourism and Events Queensland.
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A captive female zebra shark in Australia didn't let the lack of a male shark stop her from having pups. Three years after being separated from her mate, Leonie laid eggs that hatched juvenile sharks. The asexual reproduction is the first observed in a shark that had previously mated. While scientists pondered at first whether Leonie may have stored sperm from her mate for all those years, testing of the pups revealed that to be unlikely due to their lack of genetic diversity.
Read more about Leonie and other species that have switched reproduction methods.
Note: Zebra sharks are often called leopard sharks in Australia, but they are a different species from the leopard sharks found off the west coast of North America.
Select photos courtesy Tourism and Events Queensland
Endangered Shark Gives Rare "Virgin Birth" | National Geographic