In North Carolina, a stingray at an aquarium inexplicably gave birth to pups, despite the absence of a male in her tank. The Aquarium and Shark Lab by Team Ecco in Hendersonville reported this strange occurrence and were left puzzled as to how it could have happened.
After an ultrasound, the lab’s executive director determined that the growths on the stingray were indeed eggs. This discovery led to concerns that she may have cancer. However, scientists soon developed another theory after noticing bite marks on the stingray.
It was discovered that the stingray shared her tank with two male sharks, leading one theory to suggest that a male shark may have mated with her and she is currently pregnant with two to three pups. Genetic tests will need to be conducted after the birth to confirm this theory.
Despite their close taxonomic relationship, interbreeding between sharks and stingrays is theoretically possible. The staff at the aquarium is anxiously awaiting for the stingray to give birth and plans to provide updates on their website and Facebook page.