France – Five baby zebra sharks are born as part of a European program

France – Five baby zebra sharks are born as part of a European program
France – Five baby zebra sharks are born as part of a European program

Between July and December, the French National Center for the Sea recorded five births of zebra sharks, as part of a breeding program for endangered species, he said in a statement on Thursday.

Posted today at 18:08

This is a first for the Nausicaá center, the national sea center of Boulogne-sur-Mer.

AFP

Five baby zebra sharks, also called leopard sharks, were born between July and December in Nausicaá, the national sea center of Boulogne-sur-Mer, in northern France, as part of a European program of reproduction of this endangered species, the aquarium announced.

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The two zebra sharks (Stegostoma tigrinum) from the tropical lagoon have reproduced. Several babies were born (…) and grow up in the aquariological reserves ”under the watchful eye of the caretakers, rejoices Nausicaá in a press release sent to AFP on Thursday, welcoming a“ first ”for the center.

Arrived “very young” in 2011, the two adult sharks “have now reached their sexual maturity”. “They mated, and the keepers (…) quickly spotted”, recovered and transferred the eggs to an incubation tank, says the management.

“Wait four months”

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The team then had to “wait four months” – the classic incubation time for this species – before seeing the first egg hatch.

Able to lay between two and five eggs at a time, some of which are unfertilized, the female lays “regularly, several times a year”, which explains the staggered birth of the babies, a spokesperson told AFP. In the nursery, the sharks are “fed mainly on prawns, knives and finely cut squid”, details Nausicaá.

Zebra shark eggs, “which look like stingray eggs, are keratin capsules in which the embryos develop,” says the aquarium.

A video, posted on the centre’s page, shows handlers handling these oval and elongated eggs. At birth, this shark “measures about 30 cm” and sports “a striped dress” reminiscent of a zebra. But the coat “evolves with growth, to become spotted”, hence the other name given to this shark, the leopard shark.

Endangered species

In the wild, this shark lives “mainly in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, near coral reefs”, evolving up to 60 meters deep but “more generally between 5 and 30 meters”. It feeds on molluscs, small fish and crustaceans and can measure up to 2.4 meters.

Harmless to humans, it is listed on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list as an “endangered” species, due to overfishing and the degradation of its natural habitat. .

AFP

Posted today at 18:08

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