mikesd81 writes "The Washington Post has an article about a team of American and Irish researchers that have discovered that some female sharks can reproduce without having sex, the first time that scientists have found the unusual capacity in such an ancient vertebrate species. Their report concludes that sharks can reproduce asexually through the process known as parthenogenesis (the growth and development of an embryo or seed without fertilization by a male). Scientists started investigating after a female hammerhead shark was mysteriously born at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo in a tank that housed 3 female sharks. It was originally thought one had stored sperm from a male shark before fertilizing an egg. However, baby shark's genetic makeup perfectly matched one of the females in the tank, with no sign of a male parent."