What Sharks Lay Spiral Eggs

It happens every now and then for empty shark-egg cases to wash up on coasts around the world, and seeing them often makes you wonder why they look so strange. Not many of us would’ve had a chance to see shark eggs, but those who have seen them are surprised to find out that there are a few shark species that lay spiral eggs.

It is estimated that there are over 500 species of sharks living in earth’s waters, of which some are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. The sharks that give birth to live young are referred to as viviparous.

As a matter of fact, sharks that lay eggs are fewer in number than those that are viviparous.

You may be learning for the first time that sharks lay eggs. If you are confused, do check out; are sharks mammals or lay eggs, and what breed of shark lays eggs.

Out of all the well-known egg-laying sharks include the bamboo sharks, the wobbegong shark, the carpet sharks, and the bullhead sharks. But, do these eggs are spiral or are there other species laying spiral eggs? Here in this article, we are going to find out what shark species lay spiral eggs. After all, it’s unique information, and we should be aware of it.

So let’s move forward and see first the shark species that lay eggs. 

Egg-laying sharks

A small number of shark species lay eggs while the rest of them are viviparous. A shark egg case will usually be round with curly tendrils at the ends and fibers on the outer surface. It is believed that the tendrils are meant to become entangled in seaweed or to adhere to algae to anchor the egg.

It should be easy to determine the species of egg case by its size and shape if it washes up on a beach. The mermaid’s purse acts as a protective case for the eggs, providing protection from the environment both during development and after. A nucleus can be seen developing in the mermaid’s purse due to its slightly transparent nature.

The young of oviparous sharks are fed from their yolk sacs for an extended period before flinging. In this way, the young have the chance to attain full maturity and grow to their full potential.

Spiral shark eggs

There comes several shapes, colors, and sizes when it comes to shark eggs; however, most of them are spiral. Draughtboard shark eggs, for example, are orange in color and have bright tendrils. Whereas the Australian ghost shark eggs have ribbed edges with a metallic black shade.

After the shark lays eggs, the pups are required to take care of their own as parents do not tend to provide care after that. Once they emerge, the pups will need to be ready to go, able to feed, and able to look after themselves.

According to how the egg case is designed, its spiral ridges will grip rocky nooks and crannies where the mother will lay it. The egg case wedges into the rock really well, so if there’s a surge or wave, the egg won’t move, and predators will have a hard time getting it.

During the time it takes to hatch, shark eggs can take anywhere from a few months to over a year, and during this time, the spiral shape helps the egg adhere to the seafloor as a protection measure. 

Having said that, what sharks lay spiral eggs? The most well-known shark type is the bullhead shark. Unlike other sharks, bullhead shark eggs have spiral-like ridges that help preserve the embryos from predators by becoming wedged between rocks.

This spiral shark egg case is made out of a material that is very similar to the material found in fingernails or hair. Like all eggs, it protects the growing embryo and the yolk sac as it develops.

Aside from the bull shark, the other species of shark that lay eggs are the bamboo shark, the horn bullhead shark, wobbegong, swell sharks, and several catsharks as well.


A variety of animals lay eggs, and the same goes for marine animals. Sharks belong to a category where you will find some giving live birth while some species lay eggs. However, the shark eggs are way different than what you normally see. They vary in size, color, and shape. The bullhead shark, for example, lays spiral eggs.

About the author

Yumna Ahmad

An experienced content writer, photographer, and avid reader amazed by the sea world and its creatures. I am lettin people become fascinated with the ocean planet through my writings.