May 16

When sharks evolve to live on the seafloor, what will they be like?


Referring to sharks, people will probably think of scary images with bloodthirsty sharp teeth, but sharks living on the sea floor have a completely different appearance.

In our minds, sharks are fearsome animals, rulers of the bloodthirsty oceans, but in reality, sharks are much more diverse than we know. Especially the sharks that live on the bottom of the sea. Maybe when we look at them, we will not believe that they are sharks.

If I didn’t, would you consider this “monster” a shark? Probably not, and many people will also think of it as the Lophiidae – in Vietnamese called the frogfish or finfish, a family of fish in the order Lophiiformes found in the Arctic and Atlantic waters, India. Indo-Pacific where they live buried in sand and on the sea floor about 1,000 m above sea level.

Like other fish in the order Lophiiformes, Lophiidae has a large head and a wide, toothed mouth. Ankle-finned fishes that walk on the seafloor and possess the world’s fastest bite in the vertebrate world. Their mouths open and wide with the speed of a bullet of a 22mm rifle, finfish are ambush predators and can eat almost anything that can fit into their wide mouths. Therefore, their food can include both shrimp and crab.

In fact, this “monster” is the bearded shark Eucrossorhinus dasypogon. Although it looks very strange, and does not look like the shark we know, it belongs to the family Orectolobiformes Orectolobidae – The carpet shark family. And possessing an equally strange appearance, the largest fish in the world is the whale shark Rhincodon typus, they have an average body length of up to 10 meters and a weight of up to 9 tons.

The whale shark or whale shark is a special member of the subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks, rays) of the class Chondrichthyes. It is the largest shark and also the largest living fish in the world. This species was first identified in 1828 off the coast of South Africa. The family Rhincodontidae was not approved until 1984. The name “whale shark” is probably due to its large size. Whale sharks live in the oceans of the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. Considered oceanic, they also congregate seasonally in a few coastal areas, such as the Ningaloo Reef in western Australia as well as Pemba and Zanzibar in the oceanic coastal areas of East Africa.

Continuing to return to the topic is the shark Eucrossorhinus dasypogon, unlike most other sharks, they are animals that live on the bottom of the sea and can breathe without swimming. Therefore, they have chosen a “lazy” lifestyle like holding a tree waiting for a rabbit, opening their mouth to wait for a fig.

The bearded shark is a master of camouflage in the ocean. Their rough skin is covered with protrusions, which allows them to hide in coral reefs.

Like the Lophiidae, the bearded shark is also a “fishable” fish. The upper jaw, lower jaw and their edges are covered with silky hairs, the antennae swaying in the water look like small worms, this is a deadly trap for small fish. Once the prey is close, the bearded shark will swallow it in an instant, the poor prey has not yet understood what is happening, so it will immediately rush into the shark’s belly by inertia. In addition to small coral fish, bearded sharks can also hunt some larger prey, such as other sharks.

Among the sharks that live on the seabed, there is another very special shark, the leopard shark Stegostoma fasciatum, they are the only species of the leopard shark family, but this is a species of shark. Very docile, this species only eats small fish and invertebrates. Although not aggressive, it has a unique skill: female leopard sharks can give birth to baby sharks without a male! This skill is called parthenogenesis, and some geckos and snakes can also do it.

In addition, Squatiniformes sharks are also very good at ambushes, their bodies are flat and like rays. They will bury themselves in the sand and swallow their prey when a small fish swims past. Because of their broad pectoral fins, they are also known as angel sharks.

But if it comes to the strangest method of reproduction of the sharks on the seabed, it is impossible not to mention the tiger shark Heterodontiformes. Despite its ferocious name, this shark has a very cute appearance, with a body length of only 1.5 meters, and a gentle disposition. They can even interact with divers and are very cute (as long as they don’t bite).

The cute shark below is the Australian tiger shark Heterodontus portusjacksoni, also known as the Port Jackson Shark. They mainly feed on certain species of mussels, snails and soft crustaceans. Unlike other sharks, tiger sharks have teeth that resemble our molars, which can help chew on hard shells.

Instead of giving birth, this shark will lay eggs, but these eggs are spiral shaped.

So why are their eggs so weird? In fact, tiger shark eggs develop into this form to easily get stuck in the cracks of the rock and blend into the outside environment and prevent them from being eaten by natural enemies. The mother tiger shark lays two eggs at a time. After laying eggs, it will insert eggs one by one into the crevices of rocks before leaving. Because their eggs are very soft when they are first laid, the mother’s actions have no effect on the eggs.


seafloor, sharks

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