Story: Deep-sea creatures

Prickly shark

Prickly shark

The prickly shark (Oxynotus bruniensis) has skin that is more sharp and spiky to the touch than the sandpaper-like roughness of other sharks. Rather than a swim bladder, sharks have oily livers – the light oil helps them to be neutrally buoyant, reducing the need to swim constantly to avoid sinking. The prickly shark’s oily liver is particularly large because energy savings are more important at greater depths where food and oxygen are scarce. It is found between 100 and 800 metres below the surface.

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This image has been provided courtesy of the NORFANZ partners – Australia’s National Oceans Office and CSIRO and New Zealand’s Ministry of Fisheries and NIWA. The use of this image does not imply the endorsement of the NORFANZ partners of the content of this entry.

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How to cite this page:

Paddy Ryan, 'Deep-sea creatures - The mesopelagic zone', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 April 2024)

Story by Paddy Ryan, published 12 Jun 2006