(RNN) – This quote from “Jaws” comes to mind when contemplating a recent Facebook post from a University of New England research lab:
“What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that’s all.”
“Porbeagle shark embryos have some pretty large teeth in utero, and this is because these pups actually learn to ‘hunt’ before birth!” the lab wrote.
But the baby sharks aren’t chomping down on their brothers and sisters.
“Instead, porbeagles are oophagous, which means embryos eat unfertilized eggs that are continually deposited into the uterus by the mother,” said the lab, which posted two photos, the first of which reveals the small sharp teeth of a porbeagle embryo.
The other picture shows a porbeagle ovary filled with thousands of yellow eggs – the food supply for the growing sharks.
Although the silent killer in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic wasn’t a porbeagle, but a great white shark, the Sulikowski lab added in their post that “closely related species such as great white and mako sharks also reproduce in this way.”