September 4, 2015
Marine experts at Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium are celebrating after the successful hatching of a British shark.
It’s the first time a Bull Huss shark has been born at the Southsea attraction and the tiny baby – measuring less than 12cm in length – is doing well.
It was born after an eight-month incubation inside its bizarre looking egg-case, also known as a mermaid’s purse.
Blue Reef’s Hannah Butt said: “The successful breeding of native marine species is becoming more and more important and the arrival of this particular species of shark is fabulous news.
“Females usually only lay one or two eggs a season so for us to have successfully hatched this one is a real achievement.
“Our team of aquarists work really hard to try and ensure conditions in our displays are as close to those in the wild as possible.
“One of the best indicators that you have a healthy community is when they breed successfully”, 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.
The aquarium is now hoping a number of other egg-cases; including Bull Huss and skate will also hatch over the coming weeks and months prompting something of an elasmobranch baby boom.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information please contact Hannah Butt or Lindsay Holloway on 02392 875222.