The Fins United Initiative is excited to bring the "Underrated Elasmobranch Spotlight" series through TFUI officer Jess Myers. Learn about the sharks not shown on the big screen through her beautiful artwork!
So you’ve probably been told about shark skin and how it can feel like sand paper. This rough feeling is a result of tiny teeth-like structures that run along the shark’s body, they’re called dermal denticles. This next shark in our collection of Underrated Elasmobranchs takes that sandpaper feeling to a whole new level.
Meet the prickly shark (Echinorhinus cookei). It has been given the name because of the very thorny denticles covering its body. The prickly shark not only has spiny skin but also has oddly placed dorsal fins – both are right next to each other back towards the caudal fin. They live in cold waters at the bottom of the Pacific ocean and can go in areas with low oxygen levels. Another unique characteristic is their teeth (see picture)! The star-shape allows them to capture bony fish and squid as they move throughout the water column.
Prickly sharks are 1 of 2 species in the family Echinorhinidae, along with the Bramble shark. They are listed as near threatened on the ICUN Red List.
what underrated chondrichthyan do you think shark week should showcase?
you may also like:
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