Do Sharks lay eggs?

Have you ever wondered if sharks can lay eggs?  Well, I’m sure after reading this post you will find out the answer and why. The shark, researched to have about 465 different species, is a giant marine mammal.


First thing first, the answer to the question is YES, Sharks do lay eggs. One of the interesting facts about this mammalian fish is that not all sharks go through the mammalian process of reproduction known as the placental viviparity. About 70% of sharks are viviparous while the rest 30% are oviparous. In simple term, oviparous animals are animals that lay eggs such as chickens, frogs and so on while viviparous animals give birth to their young once alive just like humans and other mammals.

Shark eggs

Every shark egg has an embryo (known sometimes as the baby shark) and a yolk sac which serves as the baby’s first meal. The eggs may take several months to hatch. In some species, the eggs stay inside the female shark for a period of time before they are laid, so that the young have a chance to develop more fully and spend less time in the vulnerable, immobile egg cases before they hatch. The unhatched egg can be attached to coral or water plant or even be buried in sediments. It’s much similar to that of chicken’s egg just a bit of difference in the egg’s enclosed design. Unlike the chicken’s egg, the egg is enclosed by a leathery shell. This is designed to protect the eggs from predators.

Have you ever seen the mermaid’s purse before? This leathery exterior shell is later removed when the egg is hatched. This is sometimes washed up to the beach and sometimes known as the mermaid’s purse. Below is a picture showing the shark egg.From the pictures, you can see the growing baby shark.


The number of eggs depends on what type of shark it is. There are lots and lots of species of sharks around the world. The major species of sharks that lay eggs including: Bamboo Shark, Carpet Sharks, Horn sharks, Swell Sharks, Wobbegong Sharks and many catsharks. They are being killed for their fins for shark fin soup and also just because people think they are “Bad”. Sharks play an important part n the ecology of our oceans and we should respect them and treat them with respect.

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