Nurse sharks: groups of future mothers

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Un requin nourrice A nurse shark © Julien Chalifour
Un requin nourrice A nurse shark © Julien Chalifour

Why do female nurse sharks gather in large groups every summer, especially at Galion, but also at Caye Verte, or in Baie Blanche at Tintamare?

A university student in the Sea and Littoral Technician program at the Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale in Calais, and an intern for the French Antilles Shark Network, which is coordinated by the association Kap Natirel, Nicolas Boudin spent four months with the Réserve Naturelle studying this question. Thanks to placement of underwater cameras, he was able to determine that just the pregnant females were present at the sites that were selected to study. The fact that these sites all share the attribute of warm water, not too deep, might play a role in the progression of the shark’s gestation period. Why? The question remains to be answered. We simply know that the female nurse sharks, ovoviviparous, expulse their young and immediately move away from them, to avoid devouring them. The females generally adopt a protective behavior for their young by liberating them in zones not frequented by other adult sharks, and by ceasing their feeding for a short time.

All articles from: Journal-27

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