Video encyclopedia

Whitefin swellshark


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The whitefin swellshark is a little-known species of catshark, belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae, endemic to southeastern Australia. It is found 126–554 m (413–1,818 ft) down, on the outer continental shelf and upper continental slope. Reaching 1.1 m (3.6 ft) in length, this shark has a very thick body and a short, broad, flattened head with a large mouth. It is characterized by a dorsal color pattern of dark saddles and blotches over a brown to gray background, and light fin margins. When threatened the whitefin swellshark can inflate itself with water or air to increase its size. Reproduction is oviparous. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed this species as Near Threatened; this catshark is a frequent bycatch of trawls, and there is evidence that its population is declining.
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