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Japanese Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus japonicus)


The Japanese Bullhead Shark or Heterodontus japonicus is species of shark from the Heterodontidae family. This saltwater fish is found in the northwestern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Japan, Korea, and China. They can grow to about 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) in length, and are found on the bottom of the ocean floor in depths of up to 120 feet (37 meters). These sharks can be identified by their short, blunt head and two high dorsal fins each with its own sharp spine for protection. They also have a pattern of irregularly shaped, vertical brown bands and stripes that adorn their bodies.
Japanese Bullhead Shark are known by several names including simply a Bull Head or Cat Shark, but also the Japanese Horn Shark, Cestracion Shark, and Port Jackson shark. These sharks are rather docile and feed on shelled invertebrates and small fish. With molar-like teeth, they grind their crunchy meals to a pulp making them easy to digest. When they reproduce the females will sometimes create communal nests in which they deposit their eggs. Often these nests are located in rock beds or among kelp. These nests are not guarded and the eggs do not hatch for an entire year!  This shark is not considered to be dangerous to humans, but you should be aware of their sharp spines on each dorsal fin.  You can check out the Japanese Bullhead Shark underwater in the video below.


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