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May 31, 2018

Dr. Kevin Feldheim is interested in shark sex. Okay, shark reproduction. Like most vertebrates, sharks and their relatives reproduce sexually-- but while studying critically endangered sawfish (a very cool, very threatened cartilaginous fish), Kevin and his colleagues discovered something shocking: the female fish had given birth to clones, without having mated. It was the first time this phenomena had been studied in the wild for this species. Listen to hear the rest of the story. 

Read the paper here: Facultative parthenogenesis in a critically endangered wild vertebrate, from Current Biology.

Learn more about the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice DNA Discovery Center at the Field Museum!

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ExploreAStory is written and hosted by Emily Graslie, produced by Sheheryar Ahsan and Brandon Brungard, with music by Jason Weidner, and made with support from the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois.