A North Carolina aquarium says that it has a technological anomaly connected its hands: a pregnant stingray pinch nary evident mate.
Hendersonville-based Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO houses a female information stingray named Charlotte. At first, unit worried that nan stingray mightiness person cancer.
Aquarium laminitis and executive head Brenda Ramer told Fox News Digital that she was stumped erstwhile she noticed Charlotte swelling.
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"We've ever known she was a she," Ramer laughed. "Very visible to show nan difference. Sharks and rays are 2 of nan easiest food to tell."
"We noticed that she had started to, for deficiency of a amended word, swell," she explained. "So we decided to ultrasound her, and we saw what we thought were lumps aliases growths wrong of her."
To nan aquarium staff's relief, nan lumps weren't tumors astatine all. They were pups – moreover though Charlotte had nary caller interaction pinch antheral stingrays.
"We sent [the ultrasound] disconnected to person immoderate different folks look astatine it and they said, ‘You know, those are eggs.’ And we're like, ‘Okay, good this is great,'" Ramer recalled.
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The aquarium, which is nan first inland aquarium successful North Carolina, has been successful interaction pinch experts from Australia and nan United Kingdom astir nan oddity.
The expectant stingray apt reproduced done a method called parthenogenesis.
"The cells wrong nan ovum will divided and they create a clone of nan mother," Ramer described. "Our small shark has lain [around] 900 eggs successful nan past 8 years, and she has had 14 of those eggs turn embryos pinch nary fertilization."
"It's specified a difficult conception to moreover deliberation about, but I ever show people, deliberation astir nan very first Jurassic Park movie. The dinosaurs did nan nonstop aforesaid thing."
The aquarium laminitis has floated nan thought that a antheral shark successful nan vessel impregnated nan stingray, but conceded that it "is really not that beardown of a possibility."
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"We had noticed that she had had immoderate wound marks connected her, and we thought it was fish… and past it deed us. We had put these 2 young male sharks successful location who we didn't deliberation would beryllium viable. But gosh, what if they mated pinch her?" Ramer said.
"Anything is really imaginable erstwhile it comes to animals," nan aquarium's adjunct director, Kinsley Boyette, told Fox News Digital.
For now, nan aquarium believes that Charlotte is apt reproducing asexually.
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"I'm not saying that it's not a dormant definite possibility. But until we do DNA tests… we can't really opportunity thing for 100% certainty."
Ramer said that nan consequence from nan section organization has been supportive, and that nan soon-to-be mama is doing well.
"She seems pleasant, nary of her behaviors person changed," nan executive head said. "She's healthy, she's eating, she's swimming. She's letting america interact pinch her."
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"No matter what nan result [is]… we are conscionable crossing our fingers that Charlotte comes retired of it okay, and nan babies do too."
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