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Friday Reads: The Sea-Section Edition


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View Shirley Hao's blog posts
13 November 2009, 1:00 AM
Love bite brings baby sharks into the world
The proud mother. Photo: New Zealand Herald

[UPDATE: "Friday Reads" is now moving to Mondays! Look for us at the start of your week.]

Imagine you're a prospective new mum, walking down the street, minding your own business. Maybe you're thinking about which hospital you should deliver your little ones at. Or perhaps which nursery school to enroll them in. When all of a sudden, a fellow pedestrian suddenly decides to help said little ones out of your womb—with their teeth!

Such was an unusual afternoon this week at Auckland's Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World for one school shark (Galeorhinus galeus), who was bit by a Broadnose Sevengill shark. Or, as Kelly Tarlton's curator Andrew Christie put it, "took some of its normal seasonal aggression out on her."

Unbeknownst to the aquarium staff, the school shark was pregnant, and the situation quickly went from horrifying to bizarre for stunned spectators, as four shark pups gleefully slipped out through the sizeable gash in their mother's side and into the wide world of the aquarium tank.

According to The New Zealand Herald:

Kelly Tarlton's aquarist Fiona Davies said it was common for sharks to take chunks out of each other, even in the wild, but she had never heard of anything like this.

"It had to bite a certain part to let them out and do it without killing them [the babies] or her [the mother]."

Davies went on to explain that had the unconventional c-section not occurred at that time, the baby sharks would likely have been born at night—and would quickly have become delectable midnight snacks for the other sharks and stingrays.

Staff quickly scooped up the four newborns and their mother—and promptly found four additional pups patiently waiting inside mum. In this happy ending, the mother has been treated and is reportedly recovering well. Her eight children will eventually be released into the wild.

Perhaps we'll hear next week that the Broadnose Sevengill shark, who started all this excitement, will have performed triple bypass heart surgery on a Short-Tailed stingray. In the meantime, if all this marine talk has you interested in what Earthjustice is doing in the waters, read on about the our fight to save the right whales, and to protect sea turtles from longliners.

More Reads:
Leaves aren't the brightest bulbs in the world. Come fall, the tree has to make an executive decision: Why Leaves Really Fall Off Trees, NPR: Krulwich on Science
The wrong exhibit to jump into: At the zoo, no escape for a deer in the lions' den, Washington Post
Penguin photographers: Watch the birdie!, Daily Mail
Happy 40th Birthday, Sesame Street: Sesame Street's Top 10 Environmental Videos, Treehugger

Many country in Asia should make this as a lesson to make a good movies too. We must try to make a historical movies like gone with the wind and hamlet. elliptical machine

Davies went on to explain that had the unconventional c-section the north face outlet not occurred at that time, the baby sharks would likely have been born at night—and would quickly have become delectable columbia sportswear outlet midnight snacks for the other sharks and stingrays.

Being a nature lover and environment conscious I never missed even a single post here. It was really a nail biting situation that the four shark pups gleefully slipped out through the sizeable gash in their mother's side and into the wide world of the aquarium tank. The needed acts from the staffs’ side saved those early born shark pups. I am really glad to hear that the mother and the eight children have been treated and are recovering well. It is great news that the Broadnose Sevengill shark, which started all this excitement, will have performed triple bypass heart surgery on a Short-Tailed stingray. Sam \www.birdtricks.com

Very informative and trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading
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A fantastic story indeed. I've been studying ichthyology for many years already, always enrich my knowledge with something I haven't known before, downloading different books and tutorials from pdf'ok search http://www.pdfok.com But I have always admired sharks for they are so exceptionally beautiful and magnificent. We should take care of them and not tolerate their extinction!

This is fantastic. Sharks are in real trouble right now and need all the help they can get. The best way is to educate the public about what a vital role they play in the oceans ecosystem. to learn more about these wonderful creatures view; http://www.sharks.org.za

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