Aquatic Life

Sand Shark Babies Are Cannibals Before They're Born

Female sand tiger shark wombs are battlegrounds for unborn sharks. Pregnant sand tiger sharks carry embryos from different fathers, and the different embryos cannibalize each other inside the womb until only the biggest and strongest remains. This winning embryo will then be born! This occurrence is known as intrauterine cannibalism. Researchers think this competition inside the womb continues the reproductive battle for the father sharks, so no further damage is done to the female shark during violent mating.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Sand tiger shark embryos eat the other unhatched embryos inside the womb. 00:26

  2. Hamster mothers will sometimes kill and consume her own pups. 01:39

Written by Curiosity Staff September 6, 2014