Brownbanded Bamboo Shark - Chiloscyllium punctatum
This small tropical shark is commonly found on inshore coral reefs and over sandy and muddy bottom habitats ranging in depth up 85 m.
These sharks have barbels, which are sensory organs that look like whiskers. Hence the common name for these sharks is “Cat shark” Despite this moniker, they are not true members of the catshark family, and are more closely related to the nurse sharks.
It is a generally solitary animal with small individuals hiding in crevices of the reefs, well camouflaged with their banding pattern.
They live between the shore and the reef on muddy sea floors, where they hunt at night using the sensitive barbels on their snouts to locate crabs, worms, and other small prey.
The life expectancy of the brownbanded bamboo shark is approximately 25 years and the maximum reported size of the brownbanded bamboo shark is 41 inches!
Scientists found that the female brownbanded bamboo sharks can be separated from the male fathers of their pups for an astounding 45 months – nearly four years – and still have a viable baby!
The young ones are medium brown with darker brown banding, but that fades to a solid brown as they mature.
Did you know?
These sharks are nocturnal animals and can survive out of the water for up to 12 hrs!