Mystery pregnancy of female stingray with no mates

By Melissa Moore on February 15, 2024

This is the story that has made people all over the world stop and read the headlines several times over.  A female stingray at Team ECCO’S aquarium and shark lab in Henderson, NC is pregnant and there is no male stingray involved.  

Charlotte, the pregnant stingray, is carrying four pups and there has not been a male stingray in her tank in 8 years.  Researchers say this is possible because of  parthenogenesis. This happens when the female develops an egg, then the cells in the egg split and create a clone of the mother. Voila!

Apparently at first they thought that maybe Charlotte has mated with one of the small sharks in her tank, but experts quickly debunked that theory saying it wasn’t possible.

The aquarium has been closed for the winter, but is reopening today.  They are also hoping to have a live video stream in the future so fans of Charlotte can keep an eye on her.

 

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