The shark discovered in Taiwan have both Male and female sexual organs. Earth has many different kinds of species like blind animals, they are blind because they are perfect in their habitat without eyes.Similarly, we have animals that can even change their sex from male to female. It happens so that they can maximize their numbers.Clownfish, wrasses, moray eels and gobies are few examples of animals that can change sex from male to female.
Image Source: Intersexuality is rare, though not unheard of, in elasmobranchs. Photo by Cultura RM/Alamy Stock Photo
Now, let’s come to the topic of intersex shark, It is one of only a handful of such sharks ever documented and the first of its species. Carl Meyer, a marine biologist said, Intersex sharks are incredibly rare, “I’ve caught literally thousands of sharks myself, and I’ve never seen [one],” he says.
The Pacific spadenose shark is 50 cm long, It was caught in a fishing trawl in the southern Taiwan Strait. Later, it was transferred at Xiamen, China, in January 2017. When the shark was examined carefully it was found that it contains both male and female reproductive tracts, ovotestes, testicular and ovarian.Further analysis by the team of researchers at Xiamen University discovered germ cells of both sexes that can function either way. Sharks have bilateral symmetry and almost all of their organs come in pairs. Meyer also added, “It’s not clear whether intersex sharks are able to use both their male and female organs for reproduction. Researchers have never seen an intersex shark carrying a live embryo in its uterus, nor documented one impregnating a female in captivity”.
Image Source: Male sharks have a pair of matching claspers. In intersex sharks, these claspers will typically have varying degrees of development. Photo by Jeff Rotman/Alamy Stock Photo
“They can give birth without mating—like the virgin birth,” says Lowe. “The question is: why?” Perhaps intersexuality is somehow related to this ability of some sharks to give birth to a clone, he suggests. “We just don’t know enough about shark biology to be able to answer those questions.”
“Environmental contamination is certainly not the only reason why this might happen every now and then,” Meyer says. “Purely genetic drivers could largely determine what happens during reproductive development. There could be a genetic miscoding that ends up with a rare intersex example in a species.”
Another question arises whether this intersex shark was natural or human-caused. However, there are few studies that suggest that intersex characteristic because of the presence of estrogen and other hormones in wastewater. These things must be reported frequently and observed to judge how frequently they are happening. Nature has its own way of dealing things and giving new species at regular intervals of time. Also, read about transparent animals on planet Earth. Also, read about harmless shark species in the world.