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Intra-uterine savagery

This story about baby Grey Nurse sharks eating each other inside their mum’s uteruses (and the ingenious development of an artificial uterus to thwart this) made me stop, think and form mental images.

‘Although a grey nurse raises up to 80 embryos in her 2 uteruses, savage sibling rivalry means only 2 live to be born as ‘pups’, Nick Otway, a senior shark scientist, said yesterday. ‘By the time the embryos reach about 10 centimetres they have a well-developed set of jaws. They turn around and eat each other, inside Mum’.

…With a team of colleagues, including Megan Storrie, a shark reproductive biologist, he plans to catch pregnant grey nurse sharks, harmlessly flush out their embryos before they can kill each other, and raise them in the safety of artificial uteruses – tubes inside tanks. The pups would be released after their normal 9- to 12-month gestation’.

4 comments to Intra-uterine savagery

  • Fuzzflash

    “They turn around and eat each other, inside Mum”.
    Fancy that, neoconservatives are born, not made.

  • hc

    fuzzflash, I don’t get the point. What’s the connection between eating each other and being born not made?

  • mlesich

    It’s a interesting fact. I guess that this is one way that nature can ensure that only the strongest enter into the wild

  • Fuzzflash

    It’s a throw-away metaphor,Harry. Neocons of phylum PNAC and sub-phylum WHIG being cast into the ocean of life(born) as a direct consequence of having eaten their own. ie. “born”, as opossed to “made” killers. Works for me.

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