Shark Species

Pygmy Shark – Appearance, Habitat, Conservation & More

pygmy shark

Euprotomicrus bispinatus also known as Pygmy shark belongs to the family Dalatiidae, class Chondrichthyes, and are the only member of the genus Euprotomicrus. The Pygmy sharks are the second smallest species of sharks in the world. According to IUCN, the species are least concerned, and very little about them is known to science. To learn more about their mode of living, scroll through the article. Let’s begin!

Where the Pygmy sharks are distributed?

The Pygmy sharks are widely distributed over the globe. They are spotted living in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern Brazil, Northern Argentina, Bermuda, Southern Japan, France, Taiwan, Somalia, and The Philippines.

What habitat do Pygmy sharks share?

The sharks have been found at the depth of 660 to 1,640 feet or 200 to 500 meters. The shark species are epipelagic (the oceanic zone where light can easily penetrate), mesopelagic (intermediate depth of the ocean), or bathypelagic (extreme depth of the ocean). The sharks are nocturnal that’s why hunt actively their prey at night and are found wandering near the bottom of the ocean during the daytime.

What is the appearance of Pygmy sharks?

These sharks have a small cylindrical body that is pure black from the top, a bulbous snout located in front of the head, they have large round eyes and specialized luminous organ present underneath the body. They have triangular-shaped pointed teeth – 22 to 31 teeth are present in the upper jaws and 16 to 21 teeth are embedded in the lower jaws. The skin is covered with blocky but flat dermal denticles, small gill slits, tiny flag-like dorsal fins, and paddle-like caudal fins.

How long can a Pygmy shark grow?

The Pygmy sharks are ranked as the second smallest species of sharks living in the ocean. The sharks can grow to a maximum length of 10.62 inches or 27 cm. At the time of birth, the pups are just 2.36 or 3.93 inches or 6 to 10 cm in length. The maturity level varies among both sexes, the male sharks mature at the length of 6.69 to 7.48 inches or 17 to 19 cm whereas females become mature at the length of 8.66 to 9.05 inches or 22 to 23 cm.

What diet do Pygmy sharks follow?

The Pygmy sharks are deep water swimmers which feed on bony fishes, squids, small crustaceans, deep water fishes, octopus, lobsters, and shrimps. However, the size of the prey is smaller than the size of the Pygmy sharks.

How Pygmy sharks do reproduces?

The sharks are ovoviviparous which means that the development takes place internally, the embryo obtains nutrients from egg yolk, and the female sharks give birth to young ones. The sharks give birth to 2 to 8 pups in a breeding season.

What is the conservational status of the Pygmy sharks?

The species do not face any threats because of its small size and epipelagic, mesopelagic and bathypelagic nature which protect them from being caught by fishermen and other predatory animals. Moreover, the species are not included in the Red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are considered the least concern species, so no conservational measures are needed for such species of sharks.

Conclusion

Pygmy sharks belong to a species of squaliform sharks which are widely distributed in ocean waters. The Pygmy sharks are the second smallest species of the shark’s epoch, they are spotted at the depth of 660 to 1,640 feet or 200 to 500 meters and can grow to a maximum length of 10.62 inches or 27 cm. The sharks feed on a variety of food but the size of the prey is smaller than their size. Being small-sized species, the sharks do not face any threats so no conservational measures are needed for them.

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