Update: It’s a boy! Dr. Barord said he and his students were able to identify the markers that indicate the baby shark is a male. They’ve named him Cephaloscyllium ventriosum – rolls right off the tongue, right?
The marine biology lab at Central Campus is home to a new tune after the holiday arrival of their newest aquatic resident. Baby shark (do-do-do-do-do-do) doesn’t have an official name yet but just looking into those eyes, “sweetie, little one or aww” would do.
The shark is Cephaloscyllium ventriosum, better known as the swell shark. Instructor Dr. Gregory Barord said the lab received the shark egg (see photos) from the Minnesota Zoo in September. Students and staff have been keeping vigil, patiently waiting for their newborn to arrive.
“On Christmas morning, I received a text from a student asking if I had put a shark toy in with the shark egg, hahaha!” Dr. Barord wrote in an email. “The shark had hatched on Christmas! I think that was also the time that Saturn and Jupiter were lining up so lots of events happening.”
Barord said they plan to keep their new bundle of joy in the quarantine system until it gets a little bigger and is eating normally. Then the little shark gets a new home in a larger aquarium in the lab.
“We actually had to do a tube feeding for it last Thursday and Friday because it had gone about 6 days without eating,” Barord said. “For the tube feed, we made a made up a yummy milkshake of liquefied squid, shrimp, and fish.”
A gender reveal will have to wait a while; no one is sure if Baby Shark is biologically a male or female (males have two claspers by their cloaca and females do not). Time will tell.
In the meantime, just look at that sweet little face!