The longnose deepsea skate, Bathyraja shuntovi, is a thin-bodied, pale brown/grey coloured skate. They sometimes have darker spots, and are creamy coloured underneath. Juveniles are a bit different, with a dark blue color dorsally and black and white pattern beneath.
They lack dorsal thorns, but have a single row along the midline of their tail. Mature males have a large, elongated patch of alar thorns. They have an extremely long and flexible snout, which distinguishes them from others of the genus in New Zealand waters. The IUCN has assessed them as Data Deficient (DD).
We have a confession: TFUI founder Melissa has not always loved deep sea sharks. In fact, she knew very little about them before her MSc began exactly a year ago. Yet, as she dove into piles of these weird sharks, she fell in love with one in particular: Oxynotus bruniensis, or the prickly dogfish. This little shark is the hedgehog of the ocean... but cuter.
And while Melissa has yet to see one face-to-snout, another shark researcher at her university is more-so obsessed and knows loads more: Dr Brit Finucci. You can follow her Twitter and Instagram, where she regularly posts facts and pictures of sharks!
You may know that some sharks will roll their eyes to the back of their head or have a "third membrane" cover their eyes for protection. The blind shark (Brachaelurus waddi), takes that skill to a new level. The blind shark isn’t actually blind -- it just closes its eyes when it’s taken out of the water.
Almost like it’s saying: "If I can’t see that I’m out of the water, then I’m not out of the water."
This stout shark is one of two species of carpet shark in the Brachaeluridae family (the other is the blue-grey carpet shark, Brachaelurus colcloughi).
They are endemic to eastern Australia, and are commonly found along the bottom (mainly rocky or seagrass beds), from the intertidal down to 140 m (460 ft) deep. They can frequent tidal pools, and may become trapped from the receding tide. No worries, though. They can survive for a while outside of the water!
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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