We’re starting off 2018 with a species that is surrounded by a lot of mystery (so mysterious it doesn't have a picture): the Galbraith’s catshark (Apristurus sp.). As you can see by the scientific name, it has not been fully described so this blog post will cover what we do know about this catshark. According to Castro (2011), this species is similar to Apristurus melanoasper, but differs in several ways (such as its length size, dermal denticles size and shape, and having a shorter anal fin). The Galbraith’s catshark has a short snout and there are clearly visible pores on the ventral side of the snout. These catsharks also have large labial furrows.
They’re odd in that their second dorsal fin is slightly larger than their first. Galbraith catsharks have sparse dermal denticles that barely overlap, making them a pretty soft-bodied shark. These catsharks are uniformly brown in colour –sometimes including their belly area! There is only one known specimen, a mature male, which is about 58 cm in total length (TL). As you may have guessed, they are a deep-water shark, with that male specimen being caught at 1,800 m deep in the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean on the Bear Seamount.
Not much else is known about these animals. What is known can be found here: Castro, J.I. 2011. The Sharks of North America. Oxford University Press, 640 pp.
what new #finfact did you learn about this animal?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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