Baby catsharks thriving in nursery tank at Newquay Blue Reef Aquarium
Delighted staff at a Westcountry aquarium are celebrating after the birth of baby sharks.
Half a dozen of the tiny catsharks were born over the last few days and are thriving in a dedicated nursery tank at Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay.
"It's been absolutely fascinating to watch the tiny shark embryos developing inside their egg-cases," said Blue Reef's Christine Comery.
"As they get closer to hatching you can clearly see them wriggling about and trying to find a way out.
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"Once they do finally emerge they are pretty much fully formed miniature versions of their parents. The only real difference is that they do not have to be fed quite as much, as they get all their nourishment from their attached yolk sacs."
Staff at the award-winning wildlife attraction say they are expecting more births over the coming weeks. Young catsharks are about ten centimetres long when they hatch after spending up to 11 months developing in the egg.
Each capsule is usually secured to rocks or seaweed by tendrils, which prevent it from being washed away by tides or currents.
When the sharks hatch the empty egg-cases, commonly known as mermaids' purses, are often found washed ashore on British beaches.