November 19, 2013
A cluster of golden shark eggs has gone on show in a special nursery display at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium.
The five corkscrew egg-cases were discovered in the aquarium’s giant tropical ocean display.
The eggs were laid by an epaulette shark and aquarists are hoping they are all viable and will eventually hatch out.
Blue Reef’s Lee Charnock said: “We spotted the eggs last week and took the decision to remove them from the main ocean display to protect them from any potential predators.
“They are now being looked after in their own nursery display and we’re keeping a close eye on them to see how they develop over the coming weeks.
“The female lays the eggs on the ocean floor and then swims around and picks them up in her mouth before wedging them into the reef face.
“The egg cases are golden in colour and have a twist in them which gives them a bit of a corkscrew effect,” he added.
If all goes well the eggs are likely to hatch out sometime early in the new year.
The epaulette shark gets its name from the dark spots on its fins that look a little like the ornamental shoulder patches on a military uniform.
They can grow up to a metre in length, and can survive in shallow tropical waters of only a few inches, where they are often spotted by snorkellers.
Epaulettes spend so much time in shallow water their muscular pectoral fins have evolved to allow them to ‘walk’ along the seabed and when frightened they can ‘run’ away.
The species has also evolved in such a way that it can live in the harshest of conditions which are often found in rockpools.
As well as being able to withstand large changes in temperature they can also survive without any oxygen for up to an hour with no ill effects.