The Underrated Elasmobranch Line Up is back for a 3rd year in a row!
First up is a creature that can be found swimming in the shallows of the Eastern Pacific - the horn shark (Heterodontus francisci). They’re named for the dorsal spines located on their first and second dorsal fins that act as protection against potential predators.
Horn sharks are part of the bullhead shark family and can grow up to only 4 ft (1.22 m) in length. They are listed as data-deficient and harmless to humans on the IUCN Species Red List.
Many sharks have long gestation periods, but a female horn shark only carries pups for a few weeks until laying a corkscrew shaped egg case. This special shape allows the egg to remain lodged between rocks or another stable place until it is ready to hatch.
The Portuguese rabbitfish, Hydrolagus lusitanicus, is also known as the Coelho. Described in 2009 from the continental slope of Portugal, this species is infrequent bycatch of the Portuguese longline fishery for Black Scabbard Fish (Aphanopus carbo). Yes, many fisheries get large quantities of bycatch of deepwater sharks!
The fatspine spurdog (Squalus crassispinus) is a dogfish in the family Squalidae, found on the continental shelf at depths of 180 to 200 metres (590 to 660 ft). So have been observed on the northern coast of Western Australia and Papua New Guinea in the Western Central Pacific, and are pretty rare.
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