A trio of baby sharks whose mother was left for dead on the deck of a fishing boat are set to hatch out in the coming months at Bristol Aquarium.
The sharks were part of a clutch of more than 20 egg-cases which were produced by the female after she was nursed back to life at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Hastings after spending several hours out of the water.
Amazingly the shark went on to make a full recovery and began laying eggs within days of arriving at the south coast aquarium.
She produced so many eggs that three of them were donated to Bristol Aquarium and now all three are getting close to hatching.
Bristol Aquarium’s David Waines said: “All three of the shark embryos are now clearly visible wriggling about inside their egg-cases and they are proving very popular with visitors.
“We’re expecting them to start hatching out over the next week or so, but it could be sooner as they’re already very well developed.
“The bull huss eggs are in our large seahorse display alongside three dogfish egg-cases and it’s very easy to tell them apart as the bull huss ones are significantly bigger,” he added.
The bull huss – or nursehound – is a member of the dogfish family. It is usually found over rocky seabeds and broken ground where the mottled appearance of the fish blends into the background.
Bull huss mate in the autumn and the females lay their eggs in shallow water close to shore. When the bull huss hatch they are exact miniatures of the adults and begin feeding almost immediately.
Their diet includes mussels, oysters, crabs, lobsters, fish, squid, cuttlefish and octopus. Fully grown they can reach lengths in excess of 1.6 metres and weigh over 10kgs.
Issued by Bristol Aquarium. For more information and to arrange picture/ filming opportunities please contact Tina Patel, David Waines or Dan de Castro on 0117 929 8929.