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Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Thursday, 23 September 2010 14:54 UK
Shark babies hatch at aquarium

Watch the BBC Spotlight film from August when there were only eight shark babies

Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium has been inundated with tropical shark babies after more than 30 have recently hatched.

The babies were all discovered as eggs in the aquarium's 50,000 litre Tropical Lagoon display.

At the moment the babies are covered with distinctive black and white stripes but these will gradually fade as they grow.

As the sharks mature the plan is for them to be sent to other aquariums throughout the UK.

The stripes will gradually fade as they grow

Blue Reef Aquarium curator Matt Slater said: "We have always been successful with our captive breeding programme for tropical sharks but even we've been surprised at the sheer number of eggs which have been laid.

"What's even more unusual is the fact that so many of them have proved to be fertile and have resulted in live births.

"Our Tropical Shark Lagoon was specially designed to act as a nursery for young fish; particularly sharks and rays and this just goes to illustrate that's we've managed to get conditions just right.

"Thankfully the babies are all doing extremely well and we're delighted with their progress," he added.

Found throughout the Indo-Pacific bamboo sharks usually live around coral reefs and tide pools. They pose no threat to humans and only reach a maximum of a metre in length when fully grown.

Although born with dark bands across their bodies these will gradually fade as they mature and adults are usually a light brown colour.

Bamboo sharks actually prefer shallow waters, however they regularly become stranded in rock pools during low tide. To combat this they have the ability to survive for periods of time out of water.

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