The Fins United Initiative is excited to bring back the loved "Underrated Elasmobranch Spotlight" series through TFUI officer Jess Myers. Learn about the Chondrichthyans not shown on the big screen through her beautiful artwork!
Today’s underrated elasmobranch doesn’t care to follow the rules of typical shark anatomy. Instead of five gills on each side, the broadnose sevengill shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) has seven gills on each side of its body. Additionally, their first and only dorsal fin is closer to the caudal fin than that of the average shark. Because of this, it makes them pretty wobbly swimmers – since dorsal fins help stabilize sharks as they swim.
Sevengill sharks have a wide variety of prey, including other sharks and their egg cases, dolphins, bony fish, seals, and even hagfish! They aren’t the fastest shark by any means, but can have small bursts of speed in order to catch prey.
These sharks are found in tropical and temperate waters all around the world, off the coasts of California, South Africa, South America, Japan, and New Zealand! They’r The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon also has some on display. Despite their wide range, they are considered data deficient on the IUCN Red List.
WHAT UNDERRATED CHONDRICHTHYAN DO YOU THINK SHARK WEEK SHOULD SHOWCASE?
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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