The Pufferadder Shyshark, also known as happy Eddie, is a commonly mistaken shark that is endemic to South Africa in the southeast Atlantic Ocean and the western Indian Ocean at depths from one to 130 m.
Biology and Behaviour
Puffadder shysharks are long and slender sharks that prefer the colder waters off the coast of South Africa at the bottom of the seafloor in sandy or rocky habitats.
They are sandy brown with seven reddish-brown saddles outlined in black, and numerous small, dark brown and white spots between saddles with an off-white underside. They have a narrow rounded snout and oval cat-eyes that have a nictitating membrane. Their five pairs of gill slits are near to the upper surface of their body, and their dorsal, pelvic and anal fins are similar in size. They have about 26-30 tooth rows in their upper jaw and 27-33 tooth rows in their lower jaw.
Just like the dark shyshark, puffadders will curl into a circle with its tail covering its eyes when threatened.
They mainly feed on bony fish, crustaceans and cephalopods.
Reproduction and Lifespan
Puffadder shysharks are oviparous and females lay one or two eggs at a time. Young shysharks hatch after three months and are about 9 cm long at birth. They mature between 35 to 55 cm long, and grow to a maximum of 60 cm long.
Conservation and Tourism
The IUCN lists the puffadder shyshark as near threatened, but there are no conservation methods currently in place for this species.
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