California Swell Shark, Swell Shark, Swellshark, Balloon Shark.
акула калифорнийская раздувающаяся
ralok kalifornský nafukovací
First dorsal fin
rounded and set well back behind pelvic fin origin. Second dorsal fin smaller
and positioned over anal fin. Eye large and golden. Spiracle small. Dorsal
coloration light brown with darker brown patches and saddles fringed with small
off white dots. Many small black dots cover entire length of body and fins. Body
shape may appear flabby or rotund if threatened.
Found on continental shelves and shallow inshore rocky reefs and kelp beds. Often
seen under ledges or tucked into crevices.
Max recorded depth 457m.
and distribution: Eastern Pacific from Central California coast to
the Gulf of California (Baja) and Southern Mexico. A southern population occurs
in central Chile but this population may eventually prove to be a distinct
Nocturnal. California Swell Sharks lodge themselves in reef crevices by day. At
night they leave their shelter to hunt for bony fishes, molluscs and
crustaceans. When necessary the swell shark can fill it's stomach with water or
air. This capacity helps the swell shark lodge itself securely in its resting
spot. It may also make it too large for a predator to tackle.
Swell sharks lay two flattened egg cases that they attach to the reef with long
tendrils that extend from one end.
Refugio Beach, California, USA.
The California Swell Shark is the only shallow water catshark found in
Reaction to divers:
Swell Sharks generally stay completely motionless when encountered during the
day. They may attempt to swell up if harassed but remain within the
confines of their hiding places.
logistics: Refugio Beach north of Santa Barbara is a great
place to find California Swell Sharks. Swim out to the kelp forest at the
southern end of the beach and descend at the edge of the kelp in about 15ft of
water. Follow the reef edge or enter the forest and swim out and south until you
find the largest ledges, some of which are big enough to park a small car under.
The swell sharks are usually hidden in the deepest crevices.
Read the shark
diver magazine article on diving with California Swell Sharks
Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.
and Rays - Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M. Hennemann. IKAN.