Brownbanded Bamboo Shark

Brownbanded bamboo sharks are a docile species living on the bottom of the sea. They are popular as pets and have even featured in the Malaysian animated film SeeFood.

Brownbanded Bamboo Shark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Orectolobiformes
Family Hemiscylliidae
Genus Chiloscyllium
Scientific Name C. punctatum

Description

The brownbanded bamboo shark is 41 inches long and has a slender body with moderately large eyes and a thick precaudal tail.

This shark’s concave and posterior margined dorsal fins are similar in length and lack any spines, the pectoral fins are straight with broad tips, and the long anal fin is located just behind the notchless caudal fin.

There are no noticeable differences between the teeth in the upper and lower jaws, with a medial cusp and weak labial root lobes. The upper jaw has 26-35 rows of teeth, while the lower has 21-32 tooth rows.

Adults are light brown and lack any markings, which are more common in juveniles with dark bands and spots scattered all over their bodies.

Where do they live

These sharks live throughout the Indo-West Pacific region, ranging throughout Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

They live around coral reefs and tide pools at depths of 279 ft.

Behavior

Hunting

The diet of these sharks consists of scallops, shrimps, squids, and smaller fish. They are nocturnal feeders, actively searching the sedimentary ocean floor to locate suitable prey at night.

These bamboo sharks have tiny mouths and will expel any food too large for them to consume.

Reproductive

Oviparous in nature, releasing 4.3×5.9 inches eggs into their benthic environment. The eggs are flat and elongated and generally hatch after 4 months.

Initially, these sharks are 5-7 inches long. Sexual maturity is observed in males at 27-30 inches, while females do so at 25 inches.

On average, these sharks live for 16 years.

Adaptations

These sharks can stay out of water for 12 hours, letting them hunt in tide pools.

Interactions with humans

The IUCN classifies this shark as “Near Threatened” or “NT”, with threats to it coming from pollution, habitat degradation, and being captured for the pet trade. Speaking of which, owing to its docile nature and sedentary lifestyle, this shark remains a popular choice for public aquaria. However, to avoid supporting illegal trading, purchasing this shark from legitimate sellers is recommended.
Sources

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