This shark gets its name from an unusual behaviour it displays when threatened by a predator.
When threatened, the swell shark swallows vast amounts of seawater, which causes its belly to swell and makes it difficult for predators to eat.
The swell shark species is oviparous which means that its eggs protect and nourish an embryo until it grows to term and hatches.
Fertilization is internal, but little is known about the mating ritual of swell sharks.
After mating, two greenish amber eggs are deposited and become attached, often with the aid of the mother, to substrate items such as rocks and algae, via wiry tendrils of egg case material at the corners of the egg case.
A large yolk, attached to the embryo by way of a yolk stalk, provides nutrition to the embryo during the gestation period, which averages 9-12 months and is, in degree, dependent on water temperature.