In a major breakthrough, scientists have been successful in discovering that female hammerhead sharks are capable of reproducing themselves, without having sex.
The fact was realized when it was noticed that a shark in a Nebraska zoo gave birth to a pup in 2001, with no contact with a male shark. Later on a team from the United States and Northern Ireland conducted genetic tests which proved that the young animal was devoid of paternal DNA. This discovery of hammerhead sharks is the very first known case of asexual reproduction in sharks.
Paulo Prodohl, the researcher of Queens University in Belfast said:
It is clear from the genetic evidence that no father was involved. If you know what the genetic contribution of the mother, and you remove that, everything else has to come from the father. Now, to our surprise after we removed the mother’s contribution there was nothing left. There was no male contribution whatsoever into the particular pup.
Great hammerheads are solitary creatures and feed on other small sharks like rays, squid and bony fish. These are not considered to be an endangered species however people hunt these sharks for sport and the skin that is used as leather.