Saturday, March 23, 2024

Charlotte the Stingray to have a "virgin birth."

 Charlotte, who is a round stingray living at an aquarium in Hendersonville, North Carolina, went viral when it was learned that she was pregnant.  This was huge news because she's been living without a male tankmate for nearly 8 years at this point.  A rumor had gone around suggesting Charlotte had mated with one of the male sharks in the tank, but the aquarium dismissed this.  What has happened is that Charlotte has undergone parthenogenesis, a process that can occur in a few select animal species.  Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction, where offspring are produced without a male providing sperm.  In the article , one of the aquarium workers states that the offspring won't be identical clones to the mother.  The egg will have fused into a polar body that develops into an embryo.  As of today, no articles have come out confirming Charlotte has given birth to her pups.

This story is very interesting, because it brought attention to something that a lot of people don't know about it, which is parthenogenesis.  Many of my family and friends found it absolutely wild that a stingray could be pregnant without a male mate.  I was shocked reading that Charlotte's parthenogenesis was not her cloning herself, because I've been told that's exactly what parthenogenesis is.  There are apparently two forms of the process, one where the egg fuses into a polar body and develops into the embryo like in this case.  And the other case is where the gametocyte skips meiosis and undergoes mitosis, producing a genetically identical embryo to the mother.  I hope to hear about Charlotte's pregnancy going well because this may be the first recorded case of parthenogenesis in the round ray species.

Article Link:

Parthenogenesis article:


  1. Wow! This is super interesting, I was not aware that stingrays could reproduce without their eggs being fertilized. After reading your post I dived in a little deeper online about the whole process and it really is mind boggling how its like the seemingly defy biology and genetics in their own way. I'm definitely gonna have to do even more research into this topic! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow, Charlotte's story is absolutely fascinating! It's incredible to see nature's surprises, especially with something as intriguing as parthenogenesis in a stingray. It really highlights how much mystery there still is in the natural world and the amazing adaptability of species.