Scientists Use Ultrasound to Find a Shark ‘Maternity Ward’ in the Bahamas

Repeating Islands


A lot of female tiger sharks off one beach were observed with distended bellies. New technology revealed that almost all of them were pregnant, John R. Platt reports for Take Part.

Something strange is going on with the sharks at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas. To understand it, scientists turned to new technologies that could transform the sometimes-lethal business of shark research into a less deadly pursuit.

Tiger Beach is known for its unusually large population of tiger sharks, around which a popular diving tourism industry has developed.

“Any given day, you can go diving with 10 to 15 extremely large tiger sharks,” said Neil Hammerschlag, shark researcher with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Hammerschlag has been diving off Tiger Beach for several years, and he noticed something odd about the sharks there. Sharks tend to segregate by size for much of…

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