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Bigeyed Sixgill Shark
Characterised by its six gill slits and large reflective green eyes, the bigeyed sixgill shark is slender bodied and reaches a maximum length of 180 cm. There is an obvious distinction between its dorsal and ventral side, where the dorsal side ranges from a brown-grey in colouration and light underneath. The dorsal fin is positioned far down the body towards the caudal fin. They have no nictitating membrane.
Juveniles are distinguished from mature individuals by the black tip present on their upper caudal lobe (Bester, unknown; Shark Trust, 2010).
The bigeyed sixgill shark is found in warm temperate and tropic waters across the globe. Generally, they are considered a deepwater species remaining close to the benthos however have been known to travel to close to the surface, being found at depths ranging from 90-600 m.
Little is understood about the feeding ecology of the bigeyed sixgill shark. It is believed they feed on bony fish and invertebrates found living on the sea floor.
The bigeyed sixgill shark ins considered “data deficient” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and had no current conservation measures
Although not facing any specific threats, this species has occasionally been caught as bycatch by line and trawl fisheries (Ebert et al., 2009). More species specific and regional data is required to determine the impact deepwater fisheries could have on this species.
Bester C. unknown. Bigeye sixgill shark. Availbale at: https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/discover/species-profiles/hexanchus-nakamurai. Assessed 29th March 2017.
Ebert DA, Serena F and Mancusi C. 2009. Hexanchus nakamurai. The IUCN Red List of Threatened species 2009: e.T161352A5404404. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009-2.RLTS.T161352A5404404.en. Accessed 29th March 2017.
Shark Trust. 2010. An illustrated compendium of sharks, skates, rays and chimaera. Chapter 1: The British Isles and Northeast Atlantic. Part 2: Sharks.
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