Shark having sex
Though the claspers are paired, male sharks only use one at a time, depending on which side he "docks" into. Once inserted, the clasper uses spurs to lock it into place until mating is complete. Sex between sharks is rarely observed. Female sharks often mate with many males in the same session. Flickr, Ezio Armando 7.
Some sharks can reproduce asexually. As if you needed more reasons to find sharks scary. We dug deep into shark expert Juliet Epstein's book Demon Fish to find out the truth behind these amazing creature's sex lives. Female sharks stay in shallow water during mating season. While parthenogenesis may occur in the wild, it has only been confirmed in captivity. To deal with the brutal copulation, female sharks have evolved to be larger than the males. Neil Hammerschlag After "Jaws" hit theaters in , great white sharks became one of the most recognizable shark species around the world. Epstein found that the use of biting to hold a female in place is nearly universal among species of sharks. These 'love nips' or pre-copulatory bites are meant to show interest and facilitate female cooperation, and subsequent copulatory bites to grip the pectoral fins are used to hold the female shark in place for mating. Strachan, a fur seal observer with the New Zealand Department of Conservation: Based on observations of other shark species, researchers believe male white sharks must first bite their mates near their heads or pectoral fins, giving them enough leverage to insert their claspers. The female blue shark species gets the worst of it, appearing severely wounded after mating season. The scientific truth of shark sex is not pretty and even harder to stomach — yet oddly fascinating. Continued on next page. Sex between sharks is rarely observed. Interestingly enough, only one clasper is used at a time. Impregnated females then migrate for two years , a behavior that's likely linked to their month gestation period. Scientists have confirmed parthenogenesis in the bonnethead shark, blacktip shark, and zebra shark, and reported other species as well. Flickr, Ezio Armando 7. Mating is rarely observed, but researchers have discovered a few things that might surprise you. Some sharks species, like lemon sharks or nurse sharks, give birth to litters with babies from several male parents. Asexual reproduction, also known as parthenogenesis, is rare but not impossible. The shallow water allows them to push their cloaca against the bottom of the ocean, making it hard for a male to flip her or roll her over to penetrate her. Epstein describes their skin as rougher and thicker to deal with the pre-copulatory biting. But despite the intense public and scientific attention the predatory fish has gained these past few decades, there's still a lot we don't know about great white sharks, especially when it comes to their mating behavior. Thinkstock Because, who needs an aggressive biting male with spurred penises around when you can do it yourself?
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