August 18, 2015
A shark egg-case which was donated to Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium has hatched.
The egg-case was among a number discovered by members of the public walking on the beach and given to the Towan Promenade wildlife attraction.
They were given to the aquarium around six months ago and had been kept in a special nursery tank.
The tiny shark, which currently measure around 10cms in length, is doing well and, once large enough, will go on display in one of the aquarium’s native marine tanks.
Blue Reef’s Lara Mingay said: “There is some uncertainty about who actually donated this particular egg-case.
“The eggs were handed in by the owner of Newquay’s very own beachcombing dog, Tess-on-Wheels, and a little girl called Iona and apparently both of them are claiming it was their egg!
“Regardless of whose egg it is we’re just delighted it hatched out and is thriving,” she added.
The bull huss – or nursehound – is a member of the catshark family. It is usually found over rocky seabeds 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.
Shark and ray eggs are often found washed up on beaches or in rockpools and are known as mermaids’ purses. The egg-cases are usually empty, however sometimes they become detached from where they have been secured – particularly in rough seas – and the egg-cases with embryonic sharks or rays inside are washed ashore.