Rare shark birth caught on camera

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Rare Shark Birth Caught On Camera
For the first time, researchers have captured photographs of a shark actually giving birth to a live pup, clearing up quite a bit of the mystery surrounding such an event.

As there are and have been sharks swimming around for eons it's clear that they reproduce, but how various species go about it has in many cases remained an enigma. For what is thought to be the first time, researchers have captured a photograph of an oceanic shark actually giving birth to a live pup.

The subject in the picture is a thresher shark, and the image was taken in 2013 at a grouping of underwater mountains near the Philippines. It was recently published in the journal Coral Reefs.

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Rare shark birth caught on camera
Diver observes Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus) caught in gill net. Huatabampo, Mexico, Sea of Cortez, Pacific Ocean
Thresher shark, endangered (IUCN), Monad shoal Reef, Malapascua Island, Central Visayas, Philippines, Pacific Ocean
Common Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus) swimming above a coral reef, Big Brother Island, Egypt
thresher shark swimming in ocean underwater near boat
Face of Bigeye Thresher Shark (Aliopas superciliosus), Cocos Island, Costa Rica - Pacific Ocean.
thresher shark Alopias vulpinus Island Malapascua Cebu Philippines
Gill Net Fishermen Haul Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus) on board fishing boat. Huatabampo, Mexico, Gulf of California
MANTA, ECUADOR - SEPTEMBER 9: A fisherman carries a dead thresher shark body at dawn on the beach on, 9 September 2012 in Manta, Ecuador. Every morning, hundreds of shark bodies and thousands of shark fins are sold on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. Although the targeted shark fishing remains illegal, the presidential decree allows free trade of shark fins from accidental by-catch. However, most of the shark species fished in Ecuadorean waters are considered as “vulnerable to extinction” by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Although fishing sharks barely sustain the livelihoods of many poor fishermen on Ecuadorean at the end of the shark fins business chain in Hong Kong they are sold as the most expensive seafood item in the world. The shark fins are primarily exported to China where the shark's fin soup is believed to boost sexual potency and increase vitality. Rapid economic growth across Asia in recent years has dramatically increased demand for the shark fins and has put many shark species populations on the road to extinction. (Photo by Jan Sochor/Latincontent/Getty Images)
PUERTO LOPEZ, ECUADOR - APRIL 6: A dead thresher shark lies on the beach on 6 April 2012 in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. Every morning, hundreds of shark bodies and thousands of shark fins are sold on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. Although the targeted shark fishing remains illegal, the presidential decree allows free trade of shark fins from accidental by-catch. However, most of the shark species fished in Ecuadorean waters are considered as “vulnerable to extinction” by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Although fishing sharks barely sustain the livelihoods of many poor fishermen on Ecuadorean at the end of the shark fins business chain in Hong Kong they are sold as the most expensive seafood item in the world. The shark fins are primarily exported to China where the shark's fin soup is believed to boost sexual potency and increase vitality. Rapid economic growth across Asia in recent years has dramatically increased demand for the shark fins and has put many shark species populations on the road to extinction. (Photo by Jan Sochor/Latincontent/Getty Images)
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Dr. Simon Oliver, the head of the team that was studying the area, said that they were going about their regular explorations when the team's photographer took the photo. Oliver was unaware of the prized find until the film was developed and presented to him at a later time.

The area is known to be a cleaning station where sharks go to have parasites nibbled off of them by smaller fish. Now, Oliver believes that it could also serve as an important birthing area, given both the known instance and the concentration of pregnant sharks that inhabit the waters.

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