Scientists have been aware of the fact that shark embryos eat each other in the womb since the 1980s but weren’t able to find the reasons for this phenomenon until recently. Now they have discovered why the embryos act this way.
After years of continuous research experts have discovered that the largest embryo eats all others except one. This has been explained with the struggle between babies of different fathers. Scientists have analyzed sand tiger sharks and reached to the conclusion that the remaining embryos most probably had one father. The occurring cannibalism is a kind of competitive strategy used by male sharks to guarantee their paternity.
Typically, female sand tiger sharks give birth to two babies, larger than those of other sharks, as the bigger embryos have eaten the smaller once in the uterus. Thus, the remaining babies are stronger and relatively safe from sea predators.