Sharks are some of the most amazing fishes out there. They are marine species that have more than 500 types available. Out of these 500, there are around 200 sharks that lay eggs instead of the traditional sharks that give birth to small sharks. This system allows different types of sharks to survive and thrive in the ocean based on their conditions. Today we will learn about some surprising facts about sharks and their eggs.
Sharks Laying Eggs: Surprising Fact of Sharks
Sharks are living beings whose babies are born independent, no matter what the method of their birth is. The baby sharks are called pups. These pups upon birth mostly avoid their mother as it might be the case that they are being preyed on by their own mother. There are 3 birth methods for pups birth:
It is the common method of birth in sharks. In this method, the mother sharks gives birth to some baby sharks. The number of pups depends on the type of shark. These are some of the sharks that gave birth to their babies.
- Bull Shark
- Salmon Shark
- Lemon Shark
- Blue Shark
- Hammerhead Shark
It is another method of birth in sharks, where sharks lay eggs instead of the traditional method of birth. A shark can lay eggs. A shark can lay up to 20 eggs in a year. Each egg is enclosed in the pouch, with a yolk sac. This allows the developing shark to get all the necessary nutrition from that yolk sac. These are some of the sharks that lay eggs (Oviparity).
- Dogfish Shark
- Bamboo Shark
- Zebra Shark
- Carpet Shark
- Horn Shark
This is 3rd and special type of shark category, which lays eggs inside their bodies, and takes care of them until they hatch into new offspring/pups. Developing inside their mother’s womb, allows them to survive better than the pups born by oviparity. These are some of the sharks that follow the ovoviviparity method of birth.
- Nurse Shark
- Great White Shark
- Whale Shark
- Leopard Shark
- Basking Shark
As we are talking about the pouch enclosing the shark eggs. This pouch is commonly known as the mermaid purse. Sometimes it is referred to as the devil’s purse. The main reason behind this is the shape of the pouch, which is often pointy from the side, or in the form of a pouch with a hole on one side resembling a normal purse. The enclosure allows the sharks to grow inside while using the nutrients inside. These specific shapes of shark eggs also allow them to stay stuck to the place their mother shark stuck them near the bed of the ocean. Sometimes they are found clanged with corals inside the sea. These mermaid purses come in a variety of shapes and sizes based on the type of shark that lays eggs.
Shark Nursing Eggs
Sharks, based on their method of giving birth can or can not nurse their pups. The shark that gave birth using viviparity keeps their pups inside their womb until they are fully ready to survive in this cruel world.
Talking about sharks with oviparity, which means who lays eggs. These sharks usually do not take care of their eggs. But they do take all the necessary actions beforehand to make sure their eggs do not easily get eaten by the predators. This is done by making an encasing around the egg with yolk for nutrients inside the devil’s purse. Then sharks stick them up to a place(inside the rocks or corals etc) where they can withstand all the motion happening in the oceans
In the third type, where eggs remain inside the mother of sharks, the mother takes care of them inside her body until they are ready to survive.
Not So Fun Fact: Shark pups, whoever hatches first often eat the embryo yolk of other baby sharks inside the womb of its mother. In Some cases, it is also seen that this beautiful deadly creature eats its own sibling sharks, known as adelphophagy which actually means “eating one’s brother”.
Spiral Egg: The Mystery Unfolds
Recently in California, a woman found a spiral-shaped object made up of soft rubbery material. As weird as it sounds, this is actually a shark egg which is known as the horn shark, a California native shark. This spiral-shaped enclosure is the devil’s pouch holding a horn shark pup inside it. This spiral shape allows the egg to survive the unforeseen event. It also helps it to stick to the place where it was placed by the mother horn shark. Only sometimes, these eggs wash out to the shores, making you witness such an amazing natural phenomenon.
Baby Sharks – Pups
Baby Sharks, often known as the pups, are the most adorable creatures you can ever find. Life for the pups is not easy by any means, as from the very first day, they have to face the situation of survival of the fittest. The shark’s babies often reside in the shallow water until they are fit enough to survive in the deep ocean. Here their main source of food is crustaceans.
This struggle for survival starts when these pups are inside their mother’s womb, as the biggest and strongest pups will consume other siblings alongside the unfertilized eggs to get that extra nutrition to survive better even after birth. This is how a shark’s whole life is around the struggle to survive in tough conditions.
These are some of the most surprising facts you might have ever read about sharks and their eggs. The whole life of sharks from the time of birth to death is a story of unforeseen survival. The fact that they are not always safe inside their mother’s womb shows how nature supports the argument of survival of the fittest. From the weird ways to give birth to the most unique shape of eggs, this article shows how fascinating and unique the life of a shark can be.