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Riddle: Female stingray is pregnant

Riddle: Female stingray is pregnant

Stingray Charlotte does not live in a tank with males. However, she got pregnant – and this raises speculation.

Stingray Charlotte From the United States of America and she is pregnant. This in itself wouldn't be worth reporting if there weren't a problem: Charlotte actually lives a single life. There hasn't been a male of the same species swimming in her tank at the North Carolina Aquarium in eight years.

Who could be the father of up to four expected little ones – and whether there ever was one – is currently the subject of wild speculation. Some talk about similarities to the Christmas story in the Bible, while others try to provide scientific explanations.

Are you a father?

For example, the person who considers the five baby sharks that Charlotte shares the tank with as potential parents. The only problem: Scientist Cady Lyons of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta believes mating with the animals is nearly as impossible as the book version. Neither the animals' size nor their anatomy will match. “We have to make it clear that there was no shark damage happening here,” Lyons says.

Next attempt at interpretation: parthenogenesisThat is, unisexual reproduction, where offspring develop from unfertilized eggs and do not require a male. The only problem is that although this phenomenon has been proven in other types of rays, this is not the case for stingrays.

For expert Lyons, this is still an option: ““I'm not surprised, because nature always finds a way.” However, we don't know why this happens. Unlike most other fish, stingrays do not lay eggs, but give birth to live young.

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The fact that Charlotte might be pregnant remained unnoticed for a long time. After initially suspecting a tumor on her back, the result was clear – the female was pregnant. It should be ready in a few days. After that, move to a larger gathering. So that the baby's rays also have enough space.