Did you know that sharks have two penises? Well, they are modified parts of the male shark’s pelvic fins called claspers, but their usage (and sometimes their appearance) is the same as mammalian penises. They sometimes even have got spikes (like cats).

The school shark (also known as tope shark or soupfin shark) is a world-wide common shark of temperate coastal areas. It is known for extensive migrations, for example, from the United Kingdom to Iceland (2,461 km) or the Canary Islands (2,526 km) and uses special copulate areas and shallow, protected bays as nursing grounds. School sharks mature at 8 to 10 years for males and 10 to 15 for females and live for up to 60 years in schools segregated according to sex and size.

Due to its popularity by recreational fishermen, but primarily by commercial fishery (for its meat, fins and liver oil), the school shark is considered vulnerable globally and even critically endangered in the Southwest Atlantic.

Peter van der Sluijs with a tope caught with a rod in Ireland.jpg

Peter van der Sluijs with a tope caught with a rod in Ireland“ von Peter van der Sluijs – Eigenes Werk. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0 über Wikimedia Commons.

But what’s the preamble got to do with school sharks? Usually, the male shark only use one clasper at a time and inserts it into the genital opening of the female, but there have been a pair of school sharks caught in the act (literally and figuratively) locked, belly-to-belly, by both claspers. This is no mean feat considering female sharks indeed have got two uteri, but only one cloaca.

Sources: here and here

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