4 Shark Week & SharkFest Specials Exploring Mating Patterns

Discovery Channel

It’s the holy grail of shark science! These four specials chase new information on how sharks mate and where they give birth.

In Shark Week’s thrilling MechaShark (Wednesday, July 14, 9/8c, Discovery), expert Kina Scollay scubas inside a motorized cage shaped like a 14-foot great white. The goal: Get closer to large females off New Zealand and film frisky behavior. If the cage’s articulating tail being nibbled on counts as flirting, success!

In the Bahamas, Dr. James Sulikowski makes history in Mothersharker (Tuesday, July 13, 8/7c, Discovery), placing a tracking tag inside a pregnant tiger shark’s uterus. Fun fact: Pointy teeth never looked as cute as they do on pups in an ultrasound. When the tag is expelled during labor, it reveals the location of a nursery — no spoilers!

Return to Lair of the Great White (Wednesday, July 14, 10/9c, Discovery) follows Dr. Craig O’Connell’s hunt for the nursery of Western Australia’s aggressive white sharks. On his “dive of a lifetime,” three bold babies — one less than a year old — swarm the cage. The feeling is triumphant, even from your sofa.

The undercover shark with Kina Scollay inside passes by while testing its engines (Credit: Discovery)

And in World’s Biggest Bull Shark? (Tuesday, July 13, 10/9c, National Geographic), Dr. Neil Hammerschlag’s team searches Florida’s waters for descendants of “Big Bull,” a 10-foot female whose genes could boost the species’ chances of survival. Collecting DNA from her possible offspring: tricky!