A baby Zebra shark has hatched from an egg laid by The Deep’s female Zebra shark. A number of eggs have been developing behind the scenes for the last 6 months. She is the first baby to hatch out and we are hopeful more will follow soon.
Aquarist Tom Rowe, who has been looking after the zebra shark pups tells us more: “Sharks take many years to mature but we knew our female was ready to reproduce when she started laying empty ‘practice’ eggs. The eggs are quite large, around 12cm in length, after a while they started to contain yolks and we could see the embryos developing. It takes around six and half month’s for them to fully develop before a shark pup emerges.”
Just like humans sometimes the juvenile passes it’s expected ‘due’ or ‘hatch’ date and to ensure the pup is safe and doesn’t run out of food we help them hatch by opening up the egg case. Newly hatched Zebra shark pups are black in colour with white stripes hence their name, as they grow their pattern and colour changes leaving the adults with a yellow and brown leopard print pattern.
“It is really important that we take meticulous care of the new-born pups. After each shark is hatches we make a note of its weight and give it a full health check to ensure it is well developed. We continue to monitor feeding and growth from then on.”
See footage of the Zebra Shark being born here – https://youtu.be/7paaFsW4Rtw