Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    cookei
    Genus
    Echinorhinus
    Family
    Echinorhinidae
    Order
    Echinorhiniformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Prickly Shark grows to 4 m in length.

Introduction

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.

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.

Habitat

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

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

Ozcam map of Prickly Shark specimens in the Australian Museum. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?taxa=Echinorhinus+cookei+#mapView

Feeding and diet

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

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.