‘Virgin birth’ shark conceived in all-female tank hailed as ‘new Jesus’

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People across the internet bizarrely believe Jesus has returned in the form of a smoothhound shark that arrived in a "rare virgin birth."

The baby shark, named Ispera, was born in the Acquario di Cala Gonone aquarium in Sardinia, Italy, in an all-female tank, according to AGI.

The mother had spent ten years living in a tank with one other female when she miraculously had Ispera.

Scientists suspect the newborn could be the first documented case of shark parthenogenesis in that species and dubbed the event as a "rare virgin birth".

Parthenogenesis is a rare phenomenon where an egg develops into an embryo without being fertilized by a sperm.

The bizarre news travelled fast and now social media users have speculated that the animal may be the new incarnation of Jesus.

One user on Twitter said: "Wake up babe, new Jesus just arrived."

Another on Facebook said: "ALL HAIL SHARK JESUS."

"I could get behind this religion," a third said.

However, scientists have said there are species of sharks that are already known to do this, meaning this particular species probably always had the ability but it was difficult to document in the wild.

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Demian Chapman, Director of the sharks and rays conservation program at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Florida, the US, told Live Science: "About 15 species of sharks and rays are known to do this.

"In the wild, parthenogenesis might be the last resort for females that cannot find a mate in situations of low population density.

"The response can also be triggered in captive sharks who are separated from males for long periods of time."

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  • Jesus
  • Sharks

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