Instead of having a male shark’s sperm fertilize the female shark egg, the shark zygote receives only its mother’s set of chromosomes. Because the zygote needs two pairs of chromosomes to develop, the mother’s chromosomes then pair with another copy of themselves, so that the baby has a complete. This way, the baby will develop almost identically to the mother.
The mother shark goes through a form of asexual reproduction called parthenogenesis. This form of sexual reproduction is more common in plants and insects and are rarer in vetebrate animals. Hammerhead and black tipped sharks are examples of two shark species that have been proven to reproduce through parthenogenesis. The offspring of animals that undergo asexual reproduction will be identical to their mother.
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