The Deep is excited to announce video evidence of a baby zebra shark growing inside a recently laid egg, from its female zebra shark.
Following recent mating behaviour, The Deep’s curator, Katy Duke, was delighted to find a zebra shark egg in The Deep’s Endless Oceans display. It had a yolk inside, leading to very careful observation from the team to see if it was fertile.
Katy said “Our zebra sharks have been laying eggs for a while, but until they are fully mature, they tend to only be ‘practice’ eggs with nothing inside.
“This is the first year we have had an egg complete with a yolk and this recently filmed footage confirmed our suspicions that we had a baby shark growing inside.
“The baby is only visible via a method called ‘candling’ where we shine a torch behind the egg underwater. This allows us to see inside the dark brown casing and you can clearly see a baby attached to the yolk moving around.
“Although we are still a long way from hatching, we are hopeful that things will progress well. Zebra sharks eggs take around 6 or 7 months to hatch which would take us into early next year.”
The Deep is home to a male and female zebra shark, and as they are now mature they are expected to lay eggs each year. Male sharks grow up to 1.8m in length with females coming in at 1.7m.