Shark has virgin birth ‘with zero male contact for 4 years’ and guests can soon visit hidden ‘miracle’ baby | The Sun

THE 'miracle' baby of a virgin shark that gave birth without any male contact will soon go on display for the public.

Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, recently announced the virgin birth and how the baby has been kept hidden for close monitoring purposes.

A recent statement from the zoo revealed that the shark was actually born back in August.

It reads: "On August 23, an epaulette shark pup hatched at Brookfield Zoo.

"The hatching wasn’t unusual, but what is, is the way the shark embryo developed.

"The adult female shark had not been housed with a male since arriving at the Zoo in 2019."

Epaulette sharks usually reach sexual maturity at the age of seven and this is when the female shark took matters into its own hands.

It's thought a rare process called parthenogenesis allowed the shark to produce its own fertilized egg.

The term parthenogenesis means virgin creation in Greek.

It's a type of asexual reproduction that doesn't require male genetic material.

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Zoo staff wrote on Facebook: "This epaulette shark has an exciting hatch day story.

"What's most interesting is this embryo developed without the need for male fertilization.

"This process, known as parthenogenesis, is relatively rare for complex vertebrates like sharks."

The newborn miracle shark is now about six inches long.

Adults can grow over 30 inches with some growing even bigger than three feet.

Visitors to Brookfield Zoo will soon be able to see the shark in the Living Coasts display area.

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