Bullhead sharks are all the rave here lately, it seems. And here we have the Galapagos bullhead shark (Heterodontus quoyi). They are poorly known, but quite distinctive in appearance. These sharks prefer the tropical, coastal/offshore islands of Peru and the Galapagos Islands (hence the common name of this particular one). The Galapagos bullhead shark can reach a maximum size of 1.5 m (almost 5 ft) in length.
This bullhead shark is grey/brown dorsally with a white underbelly, numerous black spots speckled across its skin like stars. They have rather large pectoral fins, which allow them to “walk” on the seafloor. And each of their little dorsal fins has a spike to deter anyone who might think of having a quick snacky-poo.
The teeth are like most other bullhead sharks, in that there are pointy teeth in the front and flattened crush teeth in the back. Also known the “Peruvian horn shark,” they are active at night foraging for shellfish, crabs and other invertebrates.
And while they seem like they are these ferocious animals… they’re actually kinda clumsy things. As in, they aren’t the best swimmers (no trophy for you). Like other bullhead sharks, they are oviparous. They wedge their eggs inbetween rocks, making it hard for these babies to be made snacky-poo’s as well. They are about 17 cm in length.
They are classified as Data Deficient (DD) by the IUCN, and are protected from commercial fishing in the Galapagos since it’s in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
have you gone to the galapagos and seen these sharks?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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