Does this shark’s nose grow?

The Pinocchio catshark (Apristurus australis) (previously sp. G) is a species of shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae found in Australia. Very little is known about this shark and of its biology. Possibly a widely distributed deep-water catshark found along the Australian continental slope at depths of 1,936-3,281 feet, it consists of several distinct populations which may be separate species. Although part of the distribution includes heavily fished areas, particularly off southeastern Australia, much of its range is in unfished areas. Its name comes from its unusual long snout.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: australis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Males mature at around 51 cm/1.7 feet. They reach a length of at least 61 cm/2 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The labial furrows are long. The uppers reach the upper symphysis and the lowers are slightly shorter than the uppers. The teeth are sharp and burr like, fine basal ridges and closely set with 5-7 cusps. 5 in the anterior and 7 in the lateral.

Head: The head is long, narrow and flattened. The snout is long and narrow. The preoral length is more than 4 times eye diameter and longer than wide, flattened and slightly bell-shaped anterior to nostrils. The mouth extends opposite of the eyes. The eyes are small.

Tail: The tail fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Pinocchio catshark can be found in Australia on the continental slope and seamounts between 1,936-3,281 feet. They are considered bathypelagic.

Aesthetic Identification: The Pinocchio catshark is a slender shark that is pale greyish-brown to brown. The throat is much darker than the body. The tips and borders of the fins are white or with broader pale margins in the northeastern population. The first dorsal fin is smaller than the second dorsal fin. The pectoral fins are large and the pelvic fins are small. The anal fin has a long base and is low and angular. It is separated from the tail fin by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown. There could be distinct populations and even species within its range. This cannot be confirmed either way as of yet. They are possibly oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Pinocchio Catshark Future and Conservation: Currently, they are of least concern. Their range includes some heavily fished areas, and some areas that are unfished.

Pinocchio Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.