top of page

Charlotte the Stingray

Taylor Kjorsvik

Feb 20, 2024

Charlotte, a pregnant stingray in a small aquarium in Hendersonville, North Carolina, has fallen pregnant without sharing or coming in contact with a male stingray. This strange and miraculous event has stirred up lots of theories and speculation online. Many speculate she could have fallen pregnant from one of the small male sharks in her tank. While this is incredibly unlikely, sharks and stingrays are very closely related. They are both elasmobranchs, a subclass of fishes with cartilaginous skeletons and 5-7 gill slits. Experts say that this event would be more miraculous than a dog and a cat mating. “The last common ancestor of cats and dogs lived around 45 million years ago. Sharks and Rays diverged from one another at least 300 million years ago” (SCIAM). While the theory of shark-rays is interesting. Charlotte the stingray most likely impregnated herself, this phenomenon is called parthenogenesis. An expert who studied the first case of parthenogenesis in hammerhead sharks says “Quite a variety of species of shark and rays are known to reproduce like that in captivity” (SCIAM). He even says there is evidence of a species of Ray doing it in the wild. Charlotte's pregnancy was confirmed by ultrasound and will be the first documented round stingray to undergo parthenogenesis.  ,do%20with%20myth%20than%20fact


bottom of page