Oophagy, or egg eating, is a means of nutrition by which the developing embryos of some sharks eat their ‘potential siblings’ while still in the mother’s uterus. The above image is the embryo of Shortfin Mako Shark, Isurus oxyrinchus. Embryos of these species are ‘intra-uterine cannibals’. Individuals that have hatched inside the female shark eat successive batches of unfertilised eggs that are continuously ovlulated by the female.
Photo credit: T. Carter © CSIRO
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