We bring you…. drumroll, please…
the bluntnose sixgill shark!
Can you guess why it’s called sixgills? Tip: Six gill slits. Other common names include, “cow shark,” and “mud shark.” Also known as Hexanchus griseus, they’re actually a pretty common, large deep water shark.
They are one of the few members in the Hexanchidae family, being related to the cutie dogfish and Greenland shark. But, these relations aren’t as close as those who are now… well, fossils.
It reminds me of this fish poster I once saw, with the fish staring blankly at us saying, “All my friends are dead.”
Or was it a dinosaur? Whatever.
Point is, basically all their friends are dead. Oops.
They are a pretty stocky animal, with a rounded, blunt snout. They actually only have one dorsal fin, which is kinda weird. Like, woah, just one? Not to mention, it’s like aaaaaaall the way back, by the tail. This shows that they’re slow, sluggish swimmers but can be pretty persistent when chasing after their food. This food can be anything from crustaceans, fish, rays, dead mammals and cephalopods.
And apparently anywhere from 22 to 108 pups born at any given time. So, there’s probably a really high mortality rate and not many survive to maturity (apparently they can live up to 80 years). Sixgill sharks are pretty cosmopolitan, often found at depths of about 90 meters (300 ft), but sometimes found in the shallows. According to the IUCN, they are assessed as near-threatened. However, since we know so little about them… it sadly could be worse.
Ever gone diving with these sharks before?