Mermaid’s Purse

Ocean City MD
I found several of these washed up on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland at the end of December, 2007. Can you tell me what it is?
Mo Riddle

Hi Mo,
Though it isn’t a bug, we couldn’t resist posting your image of a Mermaid’s Purse, a very lyrical name for a Shark Egg Case. We are not sure of the species, but suspect it is a Dogfish. The Monterey Bay Aquarium website states: “Some sharks package their young in leathery egg cases, then abandon them at sea. Nourished by their yolk-filled egg sacs, the young sharks, called pups, develop on their own. After several months, one edge of the case comes apart and the tiny sharks emerge, alive and swimming. Occasionally egg cases wash up on beaches before the sharks inside can hatch. Beachcombers may know the pillow

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