First among the horny critters were fucking horses, pornstar ducks, humpy frogs, and zoologist-jerked tortoises. Now it's animals who aren't getting any. Last week it was the sexually stymied chickens. Today, meet the shark who got so desperate, she fertilized her own egg and had a baby with herself!
The Times clues us in that it turns out that some animals can impregnate themselves when no males are available to mate with, but no one had heretofore known that sharks were capable of this feat, known as parthenogenesis. But there's no reason to start worrying about a mega-race of Amazon shark ladies taking over the world's waters, scientists say: "It's a last-resort tactic that animals use when they absolutely can't find another mate." Also, it's not a strategy that produces high-quality shark babies, because the lack of genetic diversity makes for a greater incidence of genetic abnormalities.
Boy, this article has been stunningly free of anthropomorphic weirdness so far! Oh, wait. Says a scientist: "'I would be concerned about a lot of other things than whether or not a female shark can get a date for an evening." There ya go. Have fun at the Cubby Hole, ladies.
Female Shark Reproduced Without Male DNA [NYT]