Port Jackson Shark
Heterodontus portusjacksoni

Identification: Their tapered body is varied shades of brown-gray in color with dark bands across the head and body.

Maximum Length: Grows to a maximum length of 1.65 m, however usually found at less than 1 m. Mature at about 10 years or 800 mm in length.

Origin: Southern Australian coast from Houtman Abrolhos, WA, to Byron Bay, NSW, and around Tasmania.

Minimum tank size: 300 Gallon

Respiration: Unlike most large sharks that have to keep moving to force water through their gills to breathe. Port Jackson Sharks spend the majority of the day resting. To breathe, they have the ability to suck water into their mouth and over their gills by the pumping action of the gill slits. Summary: Body: The family Heterodontidae is characterized by a blunt rounded head with raised ridges over their eyes. 

Movement: These bottom dwelling sharks are slow moving and docile. Port Jackson Sharks often congregate in large open caves along shallow reefs. They are nocturnal animals resting in caves and gullies during the day, coming out at night to feed.

Reproduction: Port Jackson Sharks lay dark, spirally flanged egg cases. The female twists the eggs into rocky crevices for protection, where they gestate for approximately 12 months. Up to 15 eggs are produced in a laying season. The young or pups hatch out at 150 - 200 mm long. Adult females migrate south during Summer, as far as Tasmania to lay their eggs.

Feeding: Port Jackson Sharks generally feed at night. They have strong jaws equipped with plate-like teeth for crushing invertebrates and bivalve mollusks, such as clams and mussels.

Cautions: Venomous dorsal spines: Two venomous spines are found anterior to (in front of) their dorsal (top) fins. These spines provide the animal with protection from any predators attacking from above. This species are not considered dangerous, however should be handled with care. Stings cause pain, and are treated by bathing wound in hot water.

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