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Shark of the Month


May 2021

Australian Ghost Shark


Photo credit: Science News

Australian Ghost Shark

Callorhinchus milii

Quick Facts:

  • The Ghost shark lacks a stomach.

  • These are not a true shark, but diverged from the shark lineage roughly 400 million years ago. They are considered a chimaera.

  • They have the slowest-evolving genome of any vertebrate.

  • Their hoe-shaped snout is used to search for prey in the sand and is extremely sensitive to electric fields and movement.

  • Appear to school by gender.

  • Males reach reproductive maturity at 3 years of age and females reach reproductive maturity at 4-5 years of age.

  • Their hoe like snout make it easy to be caught by fishermen. In Australia, commercial catch of this fish is restricted by a weight quota (114 tonnes for the 2020-2021 season.)

Also known as: Elephant shark, ghost shark, elephant fish, silver trumpeter, and whitefish

Location: The continental shelves of temperate areas in southwestern Pacific Ocean along the coasts of southern Australia and New Zealand. Usually at depths to at least 200 m (656 feet). Reproduce in shallow water.

Length: 49 inches (125 cm).

Age span: Roughly 15 years.

Weight: 7 kg (females grow larger than males).

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Diet: Small fish, shellfish, molluscs, Maorimactra ordinaria (clam).

Previous Sharks of the Month


March 2021

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark


April 2021

Brown-banded Bamboo Shark


Coming soon

Coming soon

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