Two animals that get overlooked during the hubbub of the summer are the whitespotted bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium plagiosum - previously mentioned in this post) and the brownbanded bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum). Both species tend to rest and hide throughout the day, making them less likely to be seen during the course of a visit.
Brownbanded bamboo sharks have very faint light and dark brown stripes
Whitespotted bamboo sharks have dark stripes and white spots
Both species of bamboo sharks are benthic-type sharks, spending much of their time on the sandy bottom. To prevent being bothered by other animals (or predators) the sharks will find hiding places in which to rest. Coral reef overhangs or mangrove roots provide great cover and allow the sharks to rest in peace and quiet. And as our exhibit has lots of overhangs and roots, our exhibit animals take full advantage of these spaces!
So next time you are at the shark and ray touch tank, take a peek under the coral pieces that dot the exhibit or among the roots of the mangrove trees. You may just spot a shark resting on the sandy bottom.
Resting on the sand
In the mangrove roots