How do sharks reproduce?
Sharks reproduce by internal fertilization, which means they mate. Once the eggs have been fertilized, they develop in different ways depending on the species.
- Oviparous species lay their eggs in water or in crevices, where they develop until they hatch.
- In viviparous species, the embryo develops inside the mother’s uterus.
- Most species are ovoviviparous, meaning that eggs develop and hatch inside the mother.
Gestation periods vary from species to species. Generally, they are very long periods, up to 2 years in a Dogfish. Unlike most bony fish, sharks have very few offspring—sometimes only one. where a few, in some cases one, offspring are produced. After birth, it takes a long time for a shark to reach maturity. It can take Nurse Sharks 15–20 years before it is ready to reproduce.