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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.

  1. Oviparous species lay their eggs in water or in crevices, where they develop until they hatch.
  2. In viviparous species, the embryo develops inside the mother’s uterus.
  3. 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.