Friday, November 13, 2009

A Shark Acting as Midwife?

Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World in Auckland, Australia had a surprise birth several days ago.

When amazed visitors saw one shark bit another shark hard enough to open a large stomach wound enabling four baby sharks to swim out of the injured shark’s uterus, they rushed to tell aquarium staff. The staff members, who didn’t realize the shark was pregnant, were disbelieving at first; but, went to check it out anyway.

The New Zealand Herald reports that when the staff arrived at the tank they found a female shark with a large stomach wound and four baby sharks swimming around. When the staff removed her for surgery, they found four more babies still inside waiting to be born. They were removed and placed with their siblings in the “nursery”.

Aquarist Fiona Davies states the impromptu caesarean section probably saved the babies’ lives. In natural births the babies are born at night. If the babies had been born at night in the enclosure, they probably would have been eaten by the other adult sharks and the stingrays before anyone even knew they were there.

Mother and babes are fine. In fact, mom is healing so well she has been returned to the enclosure. The babes will stay in the nursery until careful watch of the aquarium staff.

Check out the video!

Via Telegraph and Cause2

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