A Blind Shark Baby

Baby shark attached to yolk sac
Smithsonian Institution

The blind shark (Brachaelurus waddi) is lecithotrophic viviparous— the eggs are carried inside the mother’s body and the embryos develop there until they are ready to hatch. Rather than providing nutrients to their babies through a placenta like mammals do, this system utilizes yolk sacs like the one attached to the blind shark baby pictured. These Australian sharks like to live near rocky, high-intensity coastlines. They have the ability to survive for up to 18 hours outside of the water, allowing them to endure if stranded in a shallow tide pool until the high tide comes back in to rescue it.

Tags: Sharks