A sonogram like you've never seen before

On "TechKnow," scientists capture images of a pregnant tiger shark's unborn pups—in one of her two uteri.

Contributor Phil Torres spent five days in the Bahamas with a team of research scientists studying tiger sharks—an apex predator whose survival has a profound impact on other species in the sea. The warm waters where they track these sharks appear to be a good habitat for females to spend their 10- to 15-month gestational period. Using veterinary ultrasounds, they can determine—in real time—whether a shark is pregnant and, if so, how far along.

Here's how it works.

Researchers wrestle a tiger shark onto a custom-built platform, half-submerged in the water, in order to collect blood and fin samples and implant a tracking tag.
Carolyn Wheeler, an undergraduate student at the Sulikowski Shark and Fish Research Lab at the University of New England, will use a veterinary ultrasound to determine whether this shark is pregnant.
Tiger sharks are so large—usually weighing a ton or more—that it's tough to get an image of both of her uteri. Yes, tiger sharks have two uteri.
Wheeler shows Phil the sonogram images from the shark's ultrasound.

 

Watch “TechKnow” Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

 

Find Al Jazeera America on your TV

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter