Shark Gallery 6 - Graceful Catshark
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Proscylliidae: Finback Catsharks
Above: A sketch I did in May 2000 Image Copyright © K. Cathleen Lengyel
Above image was a gift from a marine biologist.
As you know, simply by the name of my site, this is my FAVORITE of all sharks! The Graceful Catshark is one of six species of finback catsharks. It is rarely seen and much is not known about them. I had not been able to locate a single photo since beginning my site which is why I
drew a sketch. Then a few years ago, on my birthday, I received the above
photo from a marine biologist. He gave me full permission to use it on my
site. Needless to say I was thrilled!
What is known about the Graceful Catshark is that they are oviparous. This makes them unique amongst the other finbacks. They are bottom dwellers which are found in
temperate and tropical waters. They can be found above island and continental shelves. There distribution seems to be limited to the waters around Western Indo-Pacific, from Southern Japan to Indonesia. Their diet consists of bony fishes and crabs.
Their coloration is tan with large and small dark spots which cover the entire body along with small white spots. They also have cat-like eyes. They grow to a size around 26
inches in length (under 3 feet).
They are considered harmless to humans.
I have been asked many times why the Graceful Catshark is my favorite, so I shall do my best to answer that here. No, the Graceful Catshark is not large and powerful. Yet it's other qualities are what drew me to this shark.
- They are a shy species
- They are very unique in color
- They are rarely seen ~ a bit mysterious
I think these qualities best describe me. I tend to be shy, I am definitely "unique" and "rare" as are all people, and I'd like to think I too am a bit "mysterious." *Grin*
The Graceful Catshark has nictitating membranes on their eyes. This is similar to other species of sharks as well as to household cats!
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