Of course, she used to have a mate at the Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville, Australia. The pair even had a few litters before they were isolated in 2012.

However, Leonie had been living separated from males for as far back as couple of years, so her keepers were astonished when she laid eggs that delivered three infant sharks in April 2016. Leonie could be the main shark ever seen to change from sexual to agamic reproduction.

“We thought she could store sperm; however when we tried the pups and the conceivable parent sharks utilizing DNA fingerprinting, we discovered they just had cells from Leonie,” said University of Queensland scholar Christine Dudgeon, who depicted the case in the diary Scientific Reports Monday (Jan. 16).

Leonie’s case marks the first time scientists have seen this type of asexual reproduction —known as parthenogenesis—in the zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum).

Leonie’s case denote the first run through researchers have seen this kind of abiogenetic multiplication — known as parthenogenesis—in the zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum).

Parthenogenesis happens when fetuses create and develop without treatment by a male’s sperm. Or maybe, an egg forebear cell that normally gets consumed by the female’s body goes about as a surrogate sperm to “prepare” her egg. This generation system is more basic in plants and invertebrate life forms. In any case, researchers have been archiving an expanding number of vertebrate species that can have virgin births notwithstanding when their species regularly replicates sexually. For instance, Komodo mythical serpents, the world’s biggest reptiles, have conceived an offspring by parthenogenesis. So have wild pit snakes, blacktip sharks, chickens and turkeys.

In the greater part of these past parthenogenesis cases, the females were from hostage situations and never had any presentation to male mates amid their regenerative prime, Dudgeon and her associates composed. That makes Leonie one of the uncommon individuals known to have had babies by sexual reproduction just to change to agamic proliferation later on. (Researchers have revealed comparative cases in a boa constrictor and a falcon beam.)

“Leonie adjusted to her conditions, and we trust she exchanged in light of the fact that she lost her mate,” Dudgeon said in an announcement. “What we need to know now is, ‘Could this happen in the wild?’ and, provided that this is true, ‘How frequently does it?’ One motivation behind why we haven’t seen it before could be on the grounds that we haven’t been searching for it. It may occur in the wild, yet it’s never been recorded in this species.”

In the event that parthenogenesis is without a doubt a transformative adjustment to an absence of appropriate mates, that could have suggestions for the survival of zebra sharks. The species, which is found in the western Pacific and Indian seas, is recorded as jeopardized on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Dudgeon arrangements to screen Leonie’s pups to see whether these agamically created sharks can have pups of their own with a male accomplice.

“You lose hereditary differing qualities with eras of agamic generation, so we’ll be checking whether these posterity can mate sexually themselves,” Dudgeon said.