Four baby sharks are born at SEA LIFE Sydney

To mark the start of spring, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium has announced the birth of four adorable baby Epaulette Sharks, also known as “the walking shark”.

Currently only 10cm long and small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, these sharks will grow to about one meter in length and are known to live in the shallow waters along the Northern, East and West Coasts of Australia and Papua, Indonesia. The incredible Epaulette Shark is not only a perfectly capable swimmer, but they can also use their fins to “walk” along the seafloor, and even on land when needed.

"Epaulette Sharks are really unique - while they can swim, a lot of their movement is accomplished by “walking” with the use of several of its fins, it’s got a really unique style which helps them to navigate the intricacies of coral reefs and to hunt for food. When these little guys and girls grow to a larger size, they’ll be likely to move into the Day and Night on the Reef and Dugong Island exhibits here at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.”

Rob Townsend, Shark Expert at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Not a threat to humans, Epaulette Sharks feed mainly on worms and crabs, while shrimps and small fish are eaten to a lesser degree. Some of these prey items are dug out of the sand or sucked from crevices.

Epaulette Sharks are largely nocturnal and are most active in shallow water when they can crawl between isolated tidal pools. These sharks also display a strong resistance to low oxygen (Hypoxic) conditions that occur when tidal pools are isolated from the ocean. In these conditions, blood flow and ventilation rates drop sharply, combined with suppressing non-essential activity and reducing metabolism in certain areas of the brain. Epaulette Sharks can survive for over three hours in conditions with less than 5% oxygen without loss of behavioural responsiveness.