Unique intersex shark found by researchers in southern shores of Taiwan

Earth carries many unique species.  There are some species on Earth who born in one gender but later they able to change their sex.  That means some species can change themselves from male to female. Well, there is a reason behind this. It happens so that they can maximize their numbers. Some examples of such species are Clownfish, wrasses, moray eels, gobies and there are more of it.  But the new finding has revealed something very strange.   Fishermen have captured a unique species of shark, and the strangest thing about that shark is, it has a set of both male and female reproductive organs. The shark was found off the coast of Taiwan.

Till now researchers have abled to discovers only a few numbers of sharks having this unique intersex capability. This type of sharks is very rare, and they are at the stage of extinction. However, the newly discovered shark is something more than all as it is the first of kind found in the world.

As per the report, this shark species links with the species of coastal spade nose sharks. It grows around 1.6 feet long. The shark was caught by the fishermen near southern Taiwan in earlier 2017. When it was caught, all thought that it was an adult male. The shark had claspers near its pelvic fin which normally found in male sharks. But later the scientists examined the dead shark which has revealed that the shark had both male and female reproductive organs, ovotestes, testicular and ovarian. Unfortunately, the study has not revealed that whether the shark’s ovotestes were working or not. Normally, this kind of sharks give birth live small shark, and they live up to five to six years.

Carl Meyer, a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii, stated that in his life he had caught thousand of shark, but this one was something unique, and he has never seen this type of shark before.

Chris Lowe, a marine biologist at California State University, said that this kind of shark having intersex feature could give birth without mating. This is called as the virgin birth. He further stated that intersexuality gives the ability to the sharks to produce their clones. However, the researchers have don’t enough data about the biology of the shark.

It is said that environmental contaminants can be the reason for such genetic miscoding and with time it creates this type of specimen. Meyer informed that the purely genetic drivers could help to determine what happens during the reproductive process. A genetic miscoding ends up with a rare intersex example in a species.The new study on this unique intersex shark was published in a journal of Marine and Coastal Fisheries in September 2017.

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