“I don’t want to deal with your presence. Let me just scare you off."
Swellsharks use air to create the swelling effect. And while releasing that air, they let out a bark. Not a “woof,woof,” sound, however. And when not barking, they’re being sociable with shark friends, sleeping next to, or on top of its compadres.
No worries, swell shark, I do that to my friends too. “Oh, you’re sitting on the couch? *lies on top of you*” A+ job, my swell shark friends.
These little sharks are in the subtropical eastern part of the Pacific Ocean (i.e. California waters, to Mexico to Chile), usually in shallow waters that are covered in rocks and algae. They can also be found in continental shelves! However, the swellsharks in Chile may be a different species.
Swellsharks kind of look like a leopard shark, since they both have spots. They have very distinguishable golden eyes, though (which you could see on the March 31st version of “Eye Spy Tuesdays.”)
They’re nocturnal, sleeping during the day in nooks and crannies unless disturbed, in which case they will swell up or turn into a ring. By “turn into a ring,” I mean they’ll bite their tails to form an “O” shape.
Swellsharks are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. Swellsharks lay two flat eggs and attach those eggs to a secure structure. This keeps the egg case rooted in a single spot, until the shark is born. See this jawsome process here.
These are popular aquarium sharks because they tend to be scared of us humans and stay still. The IUCN has assessed this species as a least concern animal; they are not at great risk for extinction. However, they may have a low egg count and may occasionally be killed by a fisherman.
Think this shark lives up to its name?