Recently discovered by members of the animal care team, the blackchin guitarfish babies were found happily swimming around the sea floor in the aquarium’s Shark Lagoon.
The shark species are notoriously slow breeders meaning they struggle to produce offspring.
“The team have been working tirelessly to ensure the environment is just right for breeding, so we’re ecstatic it’s paid off.’ says Jonny Rudd, curator at the aquarium.
“The babies and parents appear to be very healthy and active, it really is fantastic news for the species. With so many threats to Blackchin Guitarfish in the wild, these babies may one day provide a vital lifeline for the species.
“All six babies are living in a specially created nursery under the watchful eye of our animal care team.
"They are highly independent creatures from birth, and we’ll be examining their progress and development carefully.”
Currently listed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN red list, the species struggle to increase numbers due to their slow growth and low breeding rate.
During the 18th century, blackchin guitarfish were amongst the most popular species in Southern Europe fish markets.
Visitors will soon be able to meet the baby guitarfish for themselves in the behind the Scenes area at the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, where new tours will soon be returning for visiting guests.
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