Sharp-toothed shark acts as midwife

Author: By Eloise Gibson

Staff at Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World in Auckland were initially dubious
when visitors came running to tell them there were baby sharks spilling from
a wound in a female school shark’s stomach – courtesy of a large bite by
another shark.

But they found a female with a large gaping stomach wound and four babies
swimming in the tank.

Kelly Tarlton’s aquarist Fiona Davies said it was common for sharks to take
chunks out of each other, even in the wild, but she had never heard of
anything like this.

“It had to bite a certain part to let them out and do it without killing
them [the babies] or her [the mother].”

Ms Davies said the unusual delivery had probably saved the baby sharks’ lives.

Staff did not know the mother was pregnant and, had she given birth naturally,
most likely at night, the babies would have been eaten by adult sharks and
stingrays before staff could rescue them.

The young sharks have been taken to a “nursery” tank with some baby
eagle rays, where visitors can see them before they are released into the
wild.

* Source: The New Zealand Herald.

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