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Shark gives birth after storing sperm for 45 months

Juvenile brownbanded bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum) in the Lembeh Straits. (Credit: Steve Childs/Wikimedia Commons)

Brownbanded bamboo sharks have a surprising way of producing offspring.

The females can be separated from the male fathers of their pups for an astounding 45 months and still have a viable baby.

They’re able to produce young regardless of whether or not they are ovulating or when mating occurs, and the discovery affirms the long-suspected (but little-documented) ability to produce offspring even under challenging conditions.

How did scientists unravel the mystery of this unusual shark birth? Watch Moisés A. Bernal, a PhD candidate at the Marine Science Institute at UT Austin, discuss the discovery in this video:

Source: UT Austin