Scientists: Shark ultrasounds the way to study shark moms

AP News
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Posted: Mar 06, 2016 10:42 AM

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — Scientists say ultrasound technology normally used on pregnant women can be used to gain insights about the reproduction of tiger sharks.

Researchers from the University of New England and University of Miami say their study of the use of ultrasounds on the sharks offers a less invasive way to investigate the sharks' biology.

They say the ultrasounds allow scientists a way to determine the presence of embryos in sharks while keeping the animals alive. Previous efforts normally involved dissecting the animals.

The researchers performed in-water ultrasounds on live tiger sharks and took blood samples for hormone analysis at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas.

University of New England professor James Sulikowski says the research found that a high number of tiger sharks were pregnant during the winter months.