In a process called parthenogenesis, many species reproduce asexually. This characteristic, also observed in species such as frogs, rattlesnakes, and birds, can be found in sharks.
Typically, asexual reproduction in female sharks occurs when the female shark has had no contact with male sharks. The resulting litters are much smaller than what is ordinarily seen among sharks. Whereas ordinary litters of shark pups can exceed one hundred, virgin shark births often result in only a single pup. Shark pups will be genetically identical to the mother that birthed them.
Within the past five years, it has been observed that female sharks that have previously mated with male sharks may also reproduce asexually. The ability of these asexually produced sharks to reproduce themselves is a continuing question for scientists and shark enthusiasts alike.