The crested bullhead shark is a species of shark that belong to the Heterodontidae family. It is also known as the crested horn shark and the scientific name of this species is Heterodontus galeatus. This fish is named after the presence of prominent ridges, that appear like a crest, on its forehead. This shark is endemic to the western Pacific Ocean of eastern Australia. Its distribution range extends from southern Queensland to New South Wales. Its distribution range often overlaps with that of the Port Jackson shark and both species often coexist in the same habitat. Its diet consists of sea urchins, crustaceans, mollusks, and eggs of the Port Jackson shark.
These fishes have an annual reproduction cycle. After mating, females lay around 10-16 fertilized eggs deep in the ocean. These eggs hatch after a span of five to eight months. Female fishes usually attain reproductive maturity after a span of 10-12 years on an average. A crested bullhead shark has a length of 48-60 in (121.9-152.4 cm). The International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List has listed this shark as a species of Least Concern. Its predators include whales and seals.
Continue reading to find out more about the fascinating crested bullhead shark! To learn more about other species, check out mutton snapper and rainbow trout!
Crested Bullhead Shark
What do they prey on?
Sea urchins, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fishes
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
How long are they?
48-60 in (121.9-152.4 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
What are their main threats?
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Rocky reefs, seagrass beds, and seaweeds
New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania
Crested Bullhead Shark Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a crested bullhead shark?
A crested bullhead shark is a species of shark belonging to the Heterodontidae family. It is also known as the crested horn shark and is a member of the genus Heterodontus. There are nine species of bullhead sharks in this family and are known for their snouts and broad heads.
What class of animal does a crested bullhead shark belong to?
This species belongs to the class Chondrichthyes, just like the Caribbean reef shark. The crested bullhead shark scientific name is Heterodontus galeatus.
How many crested bullhead sharks are there in the world?
The exact number of individuals present in the world is not known. However, this species is endemic to eastern Australia.
Where does a crested bullhead shark live?
The crested bullhead shark location includes the western Pacific Ocean in Australia. The crested bullhead shark range extends from south of Queensland to New South Wales in eastern Australia. In southern Queensland, they reside in Cape Moreton. They also have another range from the Cape York Peninsula to Tasmania, an island state of Australia. Its range coincides with that of the Port Jackson shark.
What is a crested bullhead shark's habitat?
This species inhabits the marine habitat of the sea and ocean. The crested bullhead shark habitat mostly includes seagrass beds and rocky reefs. Seagrass bed is an underwater ecosystem found in shallow water depth or brackish water of estuaries. Seagrasses are mainly flowering plants with grassy leaves found in the marine ecosystem. Rocky reefs are underwater rock outcrops and its surface remains covered with algae. Seaweeds are the marine algae that remain attached to the sea or ocean bottom. The ideal crested bullhead shark temperature for survival is warm and temperate waters. Their distribution is found from the intertidal zone up to a depth of 305 ft (92.9 m) below sea level.
Who do crested bullhead sharks live with?
These sharks mostly live as solitary creatures, like the tiger shark, and do not form groups.
How long does a crested bullhead shark live?
The exact lifespan of these fishes is not known. However, it can be assumed that they have a long lifespan based on their late reproductive maturity at 10-12 years of age.
How do they reproduce?
The breeding season of this species occurs in the winters. These sharks are known to have an annual reproduction cycle. After mating, the fertilization occurs internally as they are oviparous. However, no embryonic development of the fertilized eggs occurs inside the body of the females. Females lay around 10-16 fertilized eggs each enclosed inside an egg case, at a depth of 66-98 ft (20.1-29.8 m) below sea level. The egg case is brown in color and has a long tendril that attaches itself to seaweeds and aquatic plants. These eggs hatch after a long interval of five to eight months.
The crested shark attains reproductive maturity at a later age. Males attain maturity when they are 24 in (60.9 cm) long while the females mature at 28 in (71.1 cm). Females usually mature at 10-12 years of age.
What is their conservation status?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List has listed the crested bullhead shark (Heterodontus galeatus) as species of Least Concern. However, the destruction of habitat and climate change are two of the major threats encountered by this species.
Crested Bullhead Shark Fun Facts
What do crested bullhead sharks look like?
The crested bullhead shark color range from yellowish-brown to brown with dark blotches. The body is covered with rough placoid scales. The crested bullhead shark fin pectorals are rounded while the dorsal fins are long and angular. The dorsal fins also contain stout spines. The broad caudal or tail fin has a notch at the tip. Their eyes do not have nictitating membranes and contain deep ridges above them. There is a dark patch separating the two eyes. They also have a blunt snout on the head. Their large mouth with a wide set of teeth lies at the tip of the snout. The teeth in the front are small while the molar teeth at the back are broad.
How cute are they?
Their cuteness usually stems from their appearance. The presence of a snout, prominent ridges above the eyes, brown scales, angular dorsal fins, and rounded pectoral fins make them cute.
How do they communicate?
These sharks usually communicate through various body language. These include nodding their heads, expanding their jaws, and bending their bodies.
How big is a crested bullhead shark?
The crested bullhead shark (Heterodontus galeatus) is around 48-60 in (121.9-152.4 cm) in length. It is larger than the horn shark, a member of the same family which is 39.3 in (100 cm) in length.
How fast can a crested bullhead shark swim?
The exact speed of a crested horn shark is not known. However, these sharks swim at a slow pace underwater.
How much does a crested bullhead shark weigh?
The weight of the crested bullhead shark is not known. However, the Port Jackson shark, a closely related species, weighs around 13 lb (6 kg). It can be assumed that these sharks have a similar weight to the Port Jackson shark.
What are the male and female names of the species?
There are no specific names to refer to male and female sharks of this species. They are commonly referred to as male and female crested bullhead sharks.
What would you call a baby crested bullhead shark?
A baby crested bullhead shark is known as a pup.
What do they eat?
Their diet primarily constitutes of sea urchins. Their teeth often remain stained with a purple tint after the consumption of sea urchins. A sea urchin is a spiny and round animal found in seawater that remains enclosed inside a hard shell. They also feed on crustaceans, mollusks, and small fishes. They also prey on the eggs of the Port Jackson shark. They swim through rocky beds in search of prey. Their main predators include seals.
Are they dangerous?
These sharks can attack with their spines. These attacks might be fatal or cause serious injuries. However, they do not harm humans unless they are provoked.
Would they make a good pet?
No, these fishes cannot be kept as pets. This species belongs to the underwater ecosystem and can only thrive in the sea or ocean waters.
Did you know...
Their mouth forms a tube-like structure which creates a suction force. These fishes catch their prey through this suction force of the buccal cavity. This is one of the most unique crested bullhead shark adaptations.
Are crested bullhead sharks endangered?
No these fishes aren't considered to be endangered. However, the destruction of habitat and climate change are the threats they are currently facing. Their population is closely monitored because of their limited distribution in eastern Australia. This shark also remains protected in the Queensland Marine parks.
How does the crested bullshark compare with other bullhead sharks?
Crested bullhead sharks are often compared to the Port Jackson shark. Both species have a similar method of reproduction, diet, and their range often overlaps with each other. However, Port Jackson sharks have distinct dark stripes on their bodies that converge to form a triangle on their pectoral fin. While crested bullhead sharks have blotch marks on their brownish-yellow bodies. Moreover, the Port Jackson shark has a harness-like marking beside its gills, while crested bullhead sharks have distinct ridges above their eyes.
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