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
It has also been called Cooks Bramble Shark.
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.
The Prickly Shark grows to 4 m in length.
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.
Distribution by collection data
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.
- Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994 Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.
- 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 , Senior Fellow