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Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Thursday, 2 September 2010 12:23 UK
Shark lays 'cork-screw' eggs quicker than expected
Australian Port Jackson shark eggs
You would have to go to Australia to see eggs like these

A shark has surprised staff at an aquarium in Tynemouth by laying eggs quicker than expected.

Sheila, an Australian Port Jackson shark, has already produced the naturally cork-screw shaped eggs despite having only just arrived.

She shares her tank with a male and staff were hoping they would start breeding.

But Blue Reef Aquarium's Anna Etchells said: "We were not expecting her to start laying eggs quite so quickly."

"Port Jacksons are extremely difficult to get to breed successfully and it would have been incredibly lucky if any of this first batch actually were fertile but we're hoping that it may augur well for the future."

Australian Port Jackson shark
These australian sharks can grow up to 1.6m long


After laying their eggs the females wedge them into rocky crevices where their corkscrew shape prevents them from being dislodged and their colouring camouflages them to look like seaweed.

The sharks are members of the bullhead family and are noted for their distinctive blunt heads and their dark, harness-like markings around the head and dorsal fins.

Port Jackson sharks can grow up to 1.6m long (5.5 ft) and are mainly nocturnal. They typically feed on crustaceans, sea urchins and fish.

Unlike most shark species the Port Jackson has two different types of teeth: a sharp set at the front and flat, blunt one at the back which they use to crush their prey.

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