TFUI Founder Melissa isn’t the biggest cat person, but even she has to admit that the Dawson’s catshark is a super cutie. Bythaelurus dawsoni is also known as the “New Zealand catshark,” since it is endemic to the country. #Finfact: Surprise, surprise they are part of the Scyliorhinidae family!
It’s a small (45 cm) little-known shark who spends most of its time on the bottom, feeding upon benthic crustaceans. They are dark brown in colour, with pale spots splashed across their dorsal side, and sporting a creamy underbelly.
These sharks are named after Elliot Watson Dawson, a biologist with the Oceanographic Institute of the New Zealand Department of Scientific & Industrial Research. Here, Dawson carried out surveys of the surrounding sub-Antarctic region. He was an honorary research associate of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (also known as “Te Papa”) which Melissa practically lives at because of how much she visits.
The IUCN presently lacks adequate data to assess the conservation status of this species, so they are Data Deficient (DD).
ever heard of the catshark?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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