The bramble shark (Echinorhinus brucus) in the family Echinorhinidae. The name Echinorhinus is Greek; echinos meaning "sea urchin, hedgehog" and rhinos meaning "nose." The bramble sharks have a few nicknames: "mango-tara," "spinous shark," and "spiny shark" are some. This family of sharks are rare and poorly-known.
It’s one of two species in this family and is commonly found in tropical/temperate waters (with the exception of it being found in the east Pacific). They are bottom dwellers, found in pretty deep waters (400-900 m or 1,300-3,000 ft). They are known to swim in shallow waters, too.
This shark is small and stout, with its small dorsal fins far back; this shark lacks an anal fin. They have a flat head and flap-like nostrils.The most characteristic feature of this shark is its large and flat, thorn-like dermal denticles, some which fuse together. They don’t have nictitating membranes. If you ever catch one of these sharks in a deep trawl, watch out! They are covered in a smelly mucus.
This week, we will talk about the cookie cutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis). Swimming worldwide in warm waters near islands, this "cigar" (a nickname) searches for prey in the deep (2.3 miles or 3.7 km); they migrate at night to the surface to continue feeding, too.
What makes these animals even cooler? They take on animals many times their size! Anything from edible fish (i.e. sharks) and mammals (i.e. whales and dolphins) to non-edible submarines (i.e. the rubber part of the sonar dome has gotten so badly bit, it caused an oil leak and the submarine had to surface).
Richardson’s skate doesn’t mean a Richardson owns all of these skates… in fact, Melissa couldn’t find out why they were called “Richardson’s skate.” Bathyraja richardsoni are diamond-shaped with small eyes and covered in fine denticles (dorsal thorns are lacking).
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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