SPECIES: Glyphis glyphis — Speartooth Shark

CLASSIFICATION: Critically endangered

They say there could be only 250 adult individuals of the Speartooth Shark - a rare species of river shark - in Australia. The species is found in Kakadu National Park and inhabits the coastal marine waters of the large tropical rivers in northern Australia. Certainly not known for having the greatest eyesight, and perhaps considered a tad sluggish by nature, the Speartooth Shark is remarkably well adapted for hunting in near-complete darkness by relying on electroreceptors, detecting electric fields in water. Their reproduction is viviparous; a female will give birth to a live pup.

The biggest threat to the Speartooth Shark is commercial fishing. Recreational fishing, habitat degradation and water pollution also do not help their situation.

Photo: Parks Australia

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