Egg(case) Hunting this Easter

Egg(case) Hunting this Easter

Are you heading to the beach this Easter? If so forget the chocolate eggs – shark & skate eggcases are where its at!

A small spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula), on Rattray Head beach, Peterhead, UK.

Some species of sharks and skates found around the UK coastline lay eggcases, this is a method of reproduction known as ‘oviparity’. Skates will lay their eggs on the seabed, with sharks usually attaching their eggs to nearby seaweed and kelp. Once the skate or shark pup has hatched, the eggcases often wash-up on the shoreline due to rough seas, or simply as a result of tidal currents and prevailing wind directions.

Some of the eggcases we have found around the Scottish coastline, Top L-R: Flapper, Blonde, Spotted, Thornback, Cuckoo and Starry Skate. Bottom L-R: Bull Huss and Small Spotted Catshark.

The Shark Trust has a number of useful guides online for identifying and recording your eggcase finds, so check out their website for more information. And don’t forget to report your finds to them (they have an app available for this too) – adding important data to their ‘great eggcase hunt’ which is a good indicator of species and populations of skates and sharks in nearby waters. Of course we would also love to see your finds, so tag us in your finds @saltwaterlifeuk on Insta and Twitter and @sharkiologist for our Facebook Page.

Resources provided online by The Shark Trust, check out what they have by going to www.sharktrust.org

Remember to check that your eggcase is empty, if in any doubt return it to the water!

Happy Eggcase Hunting!

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