The research team found that in warmer waters, shark embryos grow faster and use their yolk sac faster – their only food source at this stage of development.
The creatures, which hatched earlier, were born smaller and had to feed immediately but lacked energy, researchers at Australia’s Center for Excellence in Coral Reefs at James Cook University and the University of Massachusetts said on Tuesday.
There are more than 500 species of sharks in the world, and most of them give birth to young ones. Some species of sharks, such as epaulette sharks, lay eggs that remain unprotected and must be able to survive on their own for up to four months.
“The epaulette shark is known for its resistance to change, even acidification of the ocean,”
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world, covering nearly 133,000 square miles and is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 species of hard coral and dozens of other species.
Rumer said rising ocean temperatures could threaten future sharks, including egg-laying and live-bearing species, because as temperatures rise, creatures will be born or hatch in an environment they can barely tolerate.
“The study presents a worrying future as sharks are already endangered,” lead author Carolyn Wheeler said in a statement.
“Sharks are important predators that keep ocean ecosystems healthy. Without predators, entire ecosystems can collapse, so we need to continue to study and protect these creatures,” added Wheeler, a PhD candidate at the ARC Center for Excellence for study of coral reefs. .
“Our future ecosystems depend on us to take urgent action to limit climate change,” Rumer said.
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The warmer ocean also contributes to increased rainfall and leads to stronger and longer-lasting storms such as Hurricanes Florence and Harvey.
Sea heat waves that have destroyed parts of the Earth’s coral reefs have likely doubled in frequency and are expected to become more frequent and intense, according to a 2019 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Jen Christensen, Ivana Kotasova and Drew Kahn from CNN contributed with reports.