Some sharks learn to ‘hunt’ in the womb

Some sharks learn to ‘hunt’ in the womb
In this Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, photo, the fin of a great white shark is seen swimming past a research boat in the waters off Gansbaai, South Africa. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

(RNN) – This quote from “Jaws” comes to mind when contemplating a recent Facebook post from a University of New England research lab:

“What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that’s all.”

Some little sharks get a head start on becoming those perfect eating machines, judging by the post from the Sulikowski Shark and Fish Research Lab.

“Porbeagle shark embryos have some pretty large teeth in utero, and this is because these pups actually learn to ‘hunt’ before birth!” the lab wrote.

But the baby sharks aren’t chomping down on their brothers and sisters.

“Instead, porbeagles are oophagous, which means embryos eat unfertilized eggs that are continually deposited into the uterus by the mother,” said the lab, which posted two photos, the first of which reveals the small sharp teeth of a porbeagle embryo.

This porbeagle embryo has already grown teeth.
This porbeagle embryo has already grown teeth. (Source: Sulikowski Shark and Fish Research Lab/Facebook)

The other picture shows a porbeagle ovary filled with thousands of yellow eggs – the food supply for the growing sharks.

A mother porbeagle’s ovary is filled with thousands of eggs.
A mother porbeagle’s ovary is filled with thousands of eggs. (Source: Sulikowski Shark and Fish Research Lab/Facebook)

Although the silent killer in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic wasn’t a porbeagle, but a great white shark, the Sulikowski lab added in their post that “closely related species such as great white and mako sharks also reproduce in this way.”

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.