The Biologist Trying to Make the First Pregnancy Test for Sharks

A group of researchers had been tracking the movements of some oceanic whitetip sharks off the coast of Cat Island, a long, thin stretch of land in the center of the Bahamas. Maybe, they thought, the sharks were moving certain directions because they were pregnant and looking for a place to give birth.

Researchers like Gelsleichter need to be able to study shark reproduction in order to protect their dwindling populations from overfishing and climate change.

Most pregnancy tests are based on the idea that a fertilized egg produces a surge of hormones: Humans, dogs, cats, and a bunch of other mammals all have different pregnancy hormones.


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