In an astonishing turn of events, a stingray at the Ecco Team Aquarium and Shark Lab in Hendersonville has become pregnant despite the absence of males in her tank. The lab’s executive director conducted an ultrasound and discovered that the growths were indeed eggs, leading to concerns about cancer. However, a possible explanation for pregnancy is parthenogenesis, a process in which a female can produce an embryo without sperm fertilization.
Scientists have developed another theory after observing bite marks on stingrays. It is possible that a male shark may have mated with the stingray, and she was currently pregnant with two to three pups. However, genetic tests will need to be performed after birth to confirm this theory.
Sharks and rays are closely related taxonomically, making interbreeding between the two species theoretically possible. The aquarium staff anticipates the stingray to give birth at any moment and plans to post updates on their website and Facebook page.