Allow me to introduce you to the Zebra Bullhead Shark…
I thought in keeping with the last introduction; “The Crested Bullhead Shark” (please hyperlink my previous blog) I would introduce another in the bullhead shark family, the Zebra Bullhead Shark.
This little fella is a common, but not too well known member of the eight living species of this family. He too is a small, not typical shark looking fella with an ungainly body that appears to wiggle as opposed to swim, in the shallow waters of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as East Asia (+/- 50 meters), and the deep waters of Australia (+.- 150 to 200 meters).
He may have an odd shape and the same piggish nose and small mouth as the rest of his relatives, but he boasts some of the most beautiful markings of any shark. Called the zebra of the sea for a reason, this little guy, has dark vertical stripes that run over a paler background.
Very little is actually know about these sharks, other than they all tend to be bottom and reef dwelling sharks, and that the as mentioned before, the Zebra Bullhead Shark is pretty common amongst its species.
This little guy, much like his other relatives doesn’t get much beyond 1 to 1.25 meters in length, and has the same molar like teeth, which works perfectly for the crushing of shells and though there is very little if any information about the Zebra Bullhead Sharks diet, I am left to presume it shares in the diet of small bony fish, shellfish, molluscs and urchins as of its relatives.
With so little recorded information and research on these gorgeous sharks, it is difficult to say for sure just how they breed, at what age they mature and “come of age” as it were. It is believed though, that the males reach maturity at approximately 70 to 85cm, this could be anywhere between 10 and 12 years, and as with the other females of the species, the Zebra Bullhead Shark, will lay spiral shaped eggs cases which hold between 10 and 16 new-born sharks of approximately 13 to 16cm in length.
These sharks, though they have powerful teeth, are of no threat to man, but find themselves threatened by man! Not that they are specifically targeted, but are very often caught as bycatch by many fishing trawlers. Also they have become quite popular in the purchasing for aquariums, which of course ASEC are dead set against, and would hope that you would assist in putting an end to this practice!
Come and see sharks in their natural habitats doing what they naturally do, and enjoy the thrill of it, by booking a trip with us!
Until we meet again, keep that toothy grin!
By Nadine Bentley