Plunket shark

The Plunket shark, Centroscymnus plunketi, is a sleeper shark of the family Dalatiidae, found around south eastern Australia, and New Zealand, at depths of between 721.79 and 5085.3 ft (220 and 1,550 m) over continental shelves. It reaches a length of 51.18 in (130 cm).

The Plunket shark has two dorsal fins of approximately equal size and shape, with a small spine in front of each. It has a very short snout, lanceolate upper teeth and bladelike lower teeth with short, oblique cusps, and a stocky body that tapers abruptly from the pectoral region. The dermal denticles are moderately large with triple cusps and ridges in adults.

The Plunket shark occurs in large schools near the bottom which are segregated according to size and sex, and feeds on cephalopods and bony fishes. It is ovoviviparous, with up to 36 pups in a litter.

Illustration by Dr Tony Ayling