Grey Bamboo Shark

The grey bamboo shark is a carpet shark belonging to the family Hemiscylliidae. These sharks have an elongated tail, a family characteristic, and dwell in ocean bottoms.

Grey Bamboo Shark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Orectolobiformes
Family Hemiscylliidae
Genus Chiloscyllium
Scientific Name Chiloscyllium griseum

Description

The average length of the grey bamboo shark is around 29-30 inches. The adults mostly appear brown with a white underside. Some adults may even lack any coloration. Juveniles may sometimes have about twelve transverse dark saddle bands across their body. These bands fade with the shark’s age.

They have a stout body, which ends with a long pre-caudal tail. The head is broad and bulky and consists of sub-terminally located nostrils on the snout. Their mouth is closer to their eyes than their snout’s tip.

Their first and second dorsal fins are equal in size, with a rounded shape, smaller in comparison to the pelvic fin.

Where do they live

These sharks dwell in oceanic depths of 16-328 feet in the waters of the Indo-west Pacific Ocean.

Their numbers range from the Arabian Sea to India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea.

They prefer tropical climates and are found in sandy or muddy waters near rocky shores and coral lagoons.

Behavior

Social

These sharks do not move in schools, mostly displaying a solitary behavior. Hence, they have been sighted quite rarely.

Dietary

Their general diet consists of small fish, worms, shrimps, mollusks, and crabs.

Reproductory

These sharks follow an oviparous reproduction where mature females lay small oval eggs (in pairs) on the ocean floor. The reproduction cycle begins with mating, with a distinct pairing between both sexes. In captivity, the males were observed to bite and hold on to the female’s pectoral fin in a lateral-facing position.

The developing embryos depend solely upon the yolk for survival in the female’s body.

Males have hit sexual maturity at body lengths of 17.71-21.65 inches.

Adaptations

The dark transverse bands in the juveniles help them camouflage and hide in the narrow crevices of coral reefs from predators and bigger sharks.

Interactions with humans

These sharks are often seen in public aquariums throughout the U.S.

In some cultures, their meat is readily consumed and is considered a delicacy, so commercial fisheries regularly catch these sharks.

The IUCN currently lists the grey bamboo shark as a ‘Vulnerable’ species in its red list. There are no conservation methods currently underway for the protection of this species.

Sources

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