Hey, Check Out this Sonogram of these Baby…Tiger Sharks? | NewsWatch Shark Week

By: Kassidy Coleman


Okay, so we’ve all seen sonograms of human babies, but have you ever seen a sonogram of a pregnant shark? Probably not. Recently featured on Discovery Channel’s SHARK WEEK, researchers caught a 12.5 foot pregnant tiger shark, discovered she was pregnant and carrying twenty frighteningly, very well-developed pups.

Just in case you missed it, here’s the video:



Honestly, we are a little freaked out by the very sharp teeth on these twenty baby sharks while they’re still in the womb, but it is pretty cool that this is the first-ever sonogram of a pregnant tiger shark.


In the past, it was fairly difficult for researchers to really study endangered sharks’ reproductive habits, which is essential to understand in order to help protect them. Scientists studying these sharks would have to kill the mother and their unborn in order to learn, which obviously isn’t realistic for when an animal is endangered. One researcher, James Sulikowski (also known by many as Dr. Shark), from the University of New England (UNE) wanted to learn more about sharks and their reproductive habits without having to kill and gut them.


So five years ago, Sulikowski completely adapted the sonogram technology we’re all familiar with that’s typically used on pregnant women, to be used on pregnant sharks and other endangered fish species, like the sturgeon.


Dr. Shark stated, “There is so much that we still don’t know, like where different species of sharks go to give birth. And so much that we think we do know, like the length of gestation of our local spiny dogfish that we are just now learning through the use of this technology and tagging that is just plain wrong. I love that. I love challenging accepted science. For me, it’s always about being inquisitive, testing what we think we know, asking what we don’t and figuring out new ways to come up with answers to questions we didn’t even know to ask just a few years ago.”


We are super excited to see this technology advance even further to help save the tiger shark as well as other endangered animals before it’s too late.


What do you think about those well-developed tiger shark pups – frightening or super cool? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!


Want more sharks and technology? Check these out:





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