Baby shark enchants researchers

by    DiveSSI    6th December 2018
This embryonic cat shark and egg case was found attached to an octocoral colony on one of our shallower dives.
Catshark embryo in the eggshell, (c) NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
Catshark Scyliorhinus sp. seen resting on the seafloor during Dive 16.
Catshark, (c) NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Catshark embryo filmed in the Caribbean

From October 30 to November 20, 2018, NOAA and its partners conducted an expedition with the research vessel "Okeanos Explorer". The expedition took place in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to explore the deep sea in these areas of the Caribbean.

One of the most impressive observations the researchers made with the aid of the autonomous UW vehicle "ROV Deep Discoverer" is a lively catfish embryo in its egg case. The images show the embryo with yolk sac that moves - swimming movements to pump fresh water through the permeable walls of the egg case.

Cat sharks lay fertilized eggs that are attached to algae or invertebrates by means of long threads at their four corners. A yolk sac inside the egg capsule supplies the embryo with the necessary nutrients for its development. After a few months, the little shark hatches, is able to swim and can feed itself.


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6th December 2018
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