The secret to success for sand tiger shark reproduction in aquaria

Published on
05. August 2020

Natural environmental conditions and collaborative efforts provide the secret to success for sand tiger shark Carcharias taurus reproduction in aquaria

Jennifer Wyffels, Chris Coco, Chris Schreiber, Daniel Palmer, Tonya Clauss, Frank Bulman, Robert George, Craig Pelton, Kevin Feldheim, Tim Handsel


Sand tiger sharks are an iconic large shark species held in aquaria worldwide. They rarely reproduce under managed care, with only seven aquaria reporting limited and sporadic success. For the first time in the Americas, a fullā€term young was born in an aquarium. The young was the result of breeding among a group of sharks purposefully brought together in 2016 for reproduction. Sharks were maintained in natural seawater and exposed to natural light and seasonal temperature fluctuations similar to their in situ counterparts. Decreased food consumption associated with breeding season and gestation was observed. Gestation time estimated from breeding observations and parturition was 321 days. Although the neonate was stillborn, this was a significant achievement. The husbandry details described within will be useful for other aquaria striving to support the reproduction of sand tiger sharks.

Zoo Biology, Early View, DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21558


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