Animal Species:Prickly Shark, Echinorhinus cookei Pietschmann, 1928

The Prickly Shark has two small dorsal fins and numerous, thorn-like denticles on the body. The species has been caught in scattered localities around the Pacific region including Australia.

Standard Common Name

Prickly Shark

Alternative Name/s

It has also been called Cooks Bramble Shark.

Identification

The Prickly Shark has two small dorsal fins positioned posteriorly on the body. It lacks an anal fin. There are numerous, thorn-like denticles on the body.  It is usually grey-brown in colour. The margins of the fins are sometimes black and the underside of the snout and around the mouth are usually white.

Two species of Echinorhinus (Bramble Sharks) are known from Australian waters. The Prickly Shark and the Bramble Shark, Echinorhinus brucus. The latter species has fewer, sparsely spaced denticles on the body.

Size range

The Prickly Shark grows to 4 m in length.

Distribution

The species is recorded from scattered localities around the Pacific. In Australia it is known to occur from Bass Strait, Victoria to eastern South Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Echinorhinus cookei

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Prickly Shark specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It lives in marine waters at depths between 11 m and 580 m (usually over 70 m).

Feeding and Diet

Stomach contents of Prickly Sharks have included fishes (including sharks and rays) and cephalopods.

Classification

Species:
cookei
Genus:
Echinorhinus
Family:
Echinorhinidae
Order:
Echinorhiniformes
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994 Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.
  2. Stevens, J.D. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Echinorhinus cookei, Prickly Shark, Echinorhinidae, Cooks Bramble Shark, thorn-like denticles, lacks anal fin, grey-brown, black fins, > 2 m,