Friday, May 25, 2007

Someday, the Messiah-Shark Will Come...

The Washington Post had a delightful and terrifying story yesterday about virgin births among sharks. Apparently in September 2001 a baby hammerhead shark was born to one of three female hammerheads sharing a tank at Henry Dormley Zoo in Omaha Nebraska. No males had been in contact with the females and they had all been in captivity for a number of years.

Now, last year on my old blog I noted that the DARPA (black helicopter guys) have been working on technology to use Sharks for their nefarious schemes; putting sensors in shark brains to try and get them to be use their excellent sense of smell to root out... well, lord knows what those DARPA guys are doing with the sharks. Part of me thinks that the whole "friggin Sharks with laserbeams on their heads" thing in Austin Powers came from DARPA. So I'm a little skittish about sharks from the get-go. I mean, even more skittish than that whole "they like to eat people" thing. That I can understand. It's the teaming up with the evil government scientists in the black helicopters that puts me on edge.

Anyway, now we get news that sharks have achieved virgin birth. Scientists had originally thought that perhaps one of the females had some male "materials" (hey, this is a family blog) stored up from before captivity.

Well, when they autopsied the baby shark (apparently another animal in the tank killed it shortly after it was born) they found that it was an exact genetic match to one of the three female sharks. No poppa. Asexual reproduction.

Apparently scientists had heretofore observed this kind of asexual reproduction, parthenogenesis, only in lower forms of life such as lower plants, aphids, parasitic wasps, and certain fans of the Jerry Springer Show.

Now, as a supporter of sex, I find this appalling. And even more importantly (frankly, how much more sex am I going to have anyway?), is this shark, born outside of shark sin, the long-promised Messiah-shark who will lead his Selachimorphian brothers and sisters to freedom? Will he rise again in glory to judge the living and the dead? And is he just a messiah for sharks, or are we land-based hairless monkeys invited?

I dunno. Messiah-sharks and Zombies. I don't like our odds.


Gino said...

life must suck if you're a man shark.

Diesel said...

My wife did that once.

Kal said...

Gino: hadn't even thought of that angle. I kept thinking man shark, as in half-man, half-shark, which actually wouldn't be such a bad deal...

Diesel: you have two kids. Only once she did this? You sure?