The white spotted bamboo shark has surprised ichthyologists (fish biologists) by doing something unexpected: a second generation of fishes reproducing without a male parent. This strange, sci fi-like way of reproducing is known as parthenogenesis.
The following passage is via New Scientist:
Some animals, including Komodo dragons and domestic chickens, can sometimes produce offspring without copulating with a male. Females do this by using one of two methods to add an extra set of chromosomes to their eggs, producing either full- or half-clones of themselves. It had only been seen in captivity – until two virgin births were recently recorded in a wild sawfish and pit.
It was previously thought that parthenogenesis was extremely rare, occurring just once in a blue moon (especially in vertebrates). These findings show that reproduction without a male parent is much more common in nature than previously thought.
Food for thought (Answer and explain questions for extra credit)
Would the mother be considered haploid or diploid? Can parthenogenesis occur with high order vertebrates such as mammals?