We may think that great whites are massive, but their ancestors would likely have made them appear midgets by comparison. A capsule usually houses one embryo, but in some species there are multiple embryos per egg case. There are several factors that are unknown when discussing great white shark reproduction. Females keep the eggs in their body until they hatch, then give birth to the live young.

© NOAA Ocean Exploration & Research via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0). Some sharks lay eggs, while others give live birth. In some species, the female will produce unfertilised eggs, which are eaten by embryos. In these species, the eggs are not laid until they have absorbed the yolk sac, developed, and hatched, and then the female gives birth to young that look like miniature sharks. Instead, they invest their resources in fewer, larger eggs which are more likely to grow into adults. They look quite different to the traditional idea of an egg.

Removing sharks in large numbers can have ripple effects that throw entire ecosystems out of balance. Depending on the season, area and age, they will hunt seals and sea lions, fish, squid, and even other sharks. Fins from great whites can fetch the highest prices because of their rarity and size. These animals are uniquely adapted to their ocean environment with six highly refined senses of smell, hearing, touch, taste, sight, and even electromagnetism. This low reproductive rate and slow growth to maturity are concerns to great white conservationists.

Great white sharks' most acute sense is smell. Empty shark-egg cases occasionally wash up on coastlines around the world, including in Britain. In California, NOAA is protecting the sharks that feed in the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of California. Sharks come in all shapes and sizes. Watch Dr. Shivji talk more about using DNA from shark fins to determine what species of shark are being killed, often for use in shark fin soup. And sharks are beautiful – like lions and gorillas – crowning achievements of evolution. © Leonardo Gonzalez via Shutterstock. These boneless fishes are in a class called Chondrichthyes that includes sharks, skates and rays. Get email updates about our news, science, exhibitions, events, products, services and fundraising activities. When great whites gather, they seem to show different behaviors, from open-mouthed gaping at one another to assertive body-slams. "My dad and I used to go on regular diving expeditions together, which fostered a love for ocean creatures, especially sharks. Great white sharks have many more reasons to fear people than people have to fear them. Thousands of sharks are killed every year especially for shark fin soup. This is an egg case of a bottlenose skate (a type of ray), housed in the Museum's spirit collection. However, these menacing creatures, just like many other sharks and fishes, are listed as a vulnerable species.

In other words, a shark grows inside an egg and hatches inside the mother. But throughout Earth's oceans, viviparity occurs in a variety of forms. Sharks have six highly refined senses: smell, hearing, touch, taste, sight, and electromagnetism.

The size of the litter can vary for great white sharks, but the common range is about two to ten pups. Scientists all agree that these creatures play a major role in our ecosystem. Countries like South Africa, Namibia, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Malta have fully protected great white sharks in their national waters.

More than 400 shark species live throughout the oceans of the world. Why save sharks? This is known to occur in sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus). Great white sharks gestate their pups for a year before giving birth – that’s longer than humans.

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