Bowmouth Guitar Shark

Bowmouth Guitar Shark

Known as a Ray Shark, the Bowmouth Guitar Shark is highly distinctive with a wide thick body, a blunt snout and a large shark-like dorsal and tail fins. There are multiple thorny ridges over its head and back, and it has dorsal color pattern of many white spots over a bluish gray to brown background, with a pair of prominent markings over the pectoral fins.

Bowmouth Guitar Sharks prefer sandy or muddy flats and areas adjacent to reefs, where they hunt for crustaceans, molluscs, and bony fishes. They are widely distributed in the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans.

They are typically encountered on or near the bottom of the sea bed, though on occasion they may be seen swimming well above it. They generally are more active swimmers at night.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed this species as Vulnerable; its sizable pectoral fins are greatly valued as food and it is widely caught by artisanal and commercial fisheries.

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