Well, this is quite unexpected, we have to admit. Live Science just reported that a little stickleback fish (aka Gasterosteus aculeatus) nicknamed “Mary” seems “to have leaped across a major reproductive divide on the evolutionary tree of life,” as the publication gracefully puts it.
Fish gets pregnant and gives birth via C-section
Stickleback females just like most female fish usually lay unfertilized eggs that males will then fertilize in the nest.
But Mary achieved the impossible and got pregnant with healthy live young which also managed to survive with the help of C-section.
This is not even the first time when this happens. It’s the very third time when scientists have found an unfertilized egg-laying fish that have developing embryos in her belly.
The mind-blowing news has been reported by researchers reported in a paper published yesterday in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.
This is still a first because it seems that it’s only the first time that those embryos were birthed and developed into healthy adults.
A really rare and unexplained phenomenon
“Although this almost accidental find revealed a vanishingly rare phenomenon, it might help us to understand a really important change that has happened throughout the tree of life,” Andrew MacColl, an evolutionary biologist said.
“Most animals lay eggs, but some (including almost all mammals, but few fish) retain their eggs inside and give birth to live young. Although this appears to be a difficult thing to achieve in evolution, this one little fish seems to have got there almost by itself.”
The bad news is that Mary is now “swimming with the fishes” so to speak. In other words, she’s dead.
Experts are not quite sure how Mary ended up pregnant this way, given the fact that this kind of fish doesn’t have sex with one another. Read more in the original article.
I have been blogging and posting articles for over eight years, but my passion for writing dates back in 2000. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues. When I’m not researching and writing the latest news, I’m either watching sci-fi and horror movies or checking out places worth visiting and building deep memories for later in life. I believe in empathy and continually improving myself.