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Ragged tooth shark birth welcome surprise to aquarium staff (VIDEO)


Families watch as a ragged tooth shark swims at Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa on April 29, 2001.



An aquarium in South Africa is celebrating a new addition after a notoriously slow breeding, cannibalistic species of shark gave birth on the weekend.

A female ragged tooth shark—called a sand tiger shark in the US—gave birth to a female pup at uShaka Marine World in Durban on Saturday, according to News24.

Staff named the new shark Storm.

“The pups are born with razor-sharp teeth,” said Ann Kunz, of South African Association for Marine Biological Research.

“We moved this one to the reef predator exhibit with some fish similar to her size because the other sharks would have eaten her.”

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The sharks are considered vulnerable because females reach sexual maturity at age 10 while males can reproduce at age seven. They also require nine to 12 months of gestation and only produce one or two offspring per litter.

There are so few sharks born to a mother because the largest embryo eats the others in utero.

Raggies” can also fall prey to fishing because they can often be found near shore.

According to News24, a National Geographic film crew abandoned their plans to film a ragged tooth shark birth after almost one year.

Photos of the new family can be found at the uShaka website.

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