Unborn sharks freeze to avoid predators

Faced with a dangerous predator, baby sharks hold their breath and stay still – even before they’ve been born.

Unborn sharks freeze to avoid predators

Bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium punctatum) lay eggs, unlike many sharks that give birth to live young. As a result, the developing sharklings are more vulnerable to being eaten.

New research shows that the shark embryos can detect the bio-electric fields of approaching predators. When they do, they freeze by stopping their gill movements. This suggests that even at these early stages, embryonic sharks can recognise dangers and instinctively try to avoid them, say the researchers. Learn more here.

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