The brown shyshark (Haploblepharus fuscus) is also commonly known as “plain happy,” and is a catshark in the Scyliorhinidae family. They’re endemic to the South African coast, with a range spanning west of Cape Agulhas to KwaZulu-Natal. Like other shysharks, they are found in sandy or rock-littered bottoms, with plenty of crevices to in which to hide.
Brown shysharks are a rather small species, only reaching 29 in (73 cm) in length. They have a flattened head, a round snout, and little eyes. Most shysharks have large bands (or saddles) spanning across their backs, with a smattering of spots. Our little “plain happy”? Just a plain brown colour.
When cruising along the coast, they tend to be on the lookout for some of their favorite munchies: bony fish and lobster. As for reproduction method, they are oviparous. Meaning you might spot some of their egg cases (known as “mermaid purses”) along the beach once the shark pups hatch. The IUCN has labeled brown shysharks as Vulnerable (VU) because they have a small distribution range and are an endemic species. Although there isn’t a fishery interest for them, these two factors do make their population vulnerable.
who wants to head to south africa to see these sharks?
you may also like:
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
SEARCH BY CATEGORIES