PLUNKET’S shark OR PLUNKET SHARK
Uncommon schooling deep-water shark
The Plunket shark or Plunket’s shark (Scymnodon plunketi) is a Sleeper shark of the family Somniosidae, found around south eastern Australia, and New Zealand, at depths of between 720 and 5,085 feet over continental shelves.
Family: Somniosidae – Sleeper sharks
Common Name– Dogfish Sharks
Common Name– Sleeper Sharks
Status: IUCN Red List NOT EVALUATED
Average Size and Length: Plunket’s shark is born at 1 to 1.2 feet. Mature males are between 3.3 and 4.3 feet. Mature females are 4.3 feet, and the maximum recorded was 5.6 feet.
Head: It has a very short snout.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: Plunket’s shark can be found in the Indo-Pacific in Australia and in the southwestern Indian Ocean. They can be found near the bottom on the continental and insular slopes between 219 and 1427 m. They are most commonly found between 550-732 m.
Diet: They primarily feed on cephalopods and bony fishes.
Aesthetic Identification: Plunket’s shark is dark grey-brown in color. Its body is stalky and tapers behind the pectoral fins. The dorsal fins are about equally in size. The tips of the spines protrude. The first dorsal fin extends forward in a prominent ridge. The space between the second dorsal fin and the upper caudal fin are about the length of the dorsal base. The free rear tip is in front of the caudal origin.
Biology and Reproduction: Plunket’s shark is ovoviviparous. They have up to 36 pups per litter.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Plunket’s shark is known to form large schools and they do segregate by age and sex.
Plunket’s Shark Future and Conservation: They aren’t a common shark and are caught bycatch by deep-water fisheries. In New Zealand they are used for squalene and fish meal.
Plunket’s Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.