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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Japanese Bullhead Shark For Kids

Japanese bullhead shark facts tell us more about these unique bullhead shark species.

When we think of sharks, we imagine scary big fishes with sharp teeth in the ocean. But the Japanese bullhead shark, despite being a shark, isn't very scary looking. In fact, they are very docile and not harmful to humans at all! Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus jaconipus) is one of the nine known living species of bullhead sharks of the world. They belong to the family Heterodontidae. They’re found near shore on the continental shelf of the northwestern Pacific Ocean on the coast of Japan, Korea, and China. They are known to be clumsy and wiggle around using their dorsal fins to push them forward. They live in shallow waters in the Pacific Ocean and eat small fish, worms, crabs. However, they prefer living on the continental shelf around rocky reefs and kelp beds.

They are distinguishable among other bullhead shark species because of their unique features, like having ridges above their eyes, and the space between the eyes is concave. They are brownish and have dark patches. In addition, they have typical bullhead shark features consisting of a wide head, pig-like snout. This shark is oviparous and lays eggs.

Fishermen in Japan, Korea easily catch them by hand as they are not harmful to humans. They are of minor interest to fishermen around the world except for Japan, where the Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus jaconipus) is a source of diet.

If you like our facts on Japanese bullhead sharks, you can check out codfish facts and dogfish facts on Kidadl!

Japanese Bullhead Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Japanese bullhead shark?

The Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus japonicus) is a fish that lives in the ocean.

What class of animal does a Japanese bullhead shark belong to?

The Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus japonicus) belongs to the class of fish known as Chondrichthyes.

How many Japanese bullhead sharks are there in the world?

The exact number of Japanese bullhead sharks is not known, but being of Least Concern for extinction and of little interest to fisheries, they have a stable population.

Where does a Japanese bullhead shark live?

The Japanese bullhead shark lives in the northwest Pacific Ocean at 19.6-121.3 ft (6-37 m) range depth. They are found in countries such as Japan, northern China, Taiwan, and the Korean peninsula.

What is a Japanese bullhead shark's habitat?

The habitat of the Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus japonicus) includes kelp-covered beds, sandy bottoms, caves, and rocks at night. They are commonly found in shallow waters.

Who do Japanese bullhead sharks live with?

This shark (Heterodontus japonicus) usually wanders alone in the ocean, but they sometimes hunt in groups.

How long does a Japanese bullhead shark live?

The average lifespan of a Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus japonicus) is in the range of 12-25 years.

How do they reproduce?

Japanese bullhead sharks are oviparous, meaning the female lays the eggs, which take around a year to hatch. These eggs are laid at a depth range of 26-30 ft (8-9 m) within rock beds or kelp. The female shark lays eggs in pairs to produce up to 16 babies.

What is their conservation status?

The species is considered under least concern of conservation status. The Japanese bullhead shark is of little interest to fisheries and is not under any threat to extinction.

Japanese Bullhead Shark Fun Facts

What do Japanese bullhead sharks look like?

Find fun facts on Japanese bullhead sharks and how they live in the ocean.

The Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus japonicus) can be found on rocky reefs or kelp beds underwater in its natural habitat. This shark is usually light brown and has dark patches around its body. They have a cylindrical body with a wide head and a pig-like nose. Their distinctive feature is having ridges above their eyes. They also have a large first dorsal fin at the bases of the pectoral fins. The second dorsal fin smaller and begins at the end of the pelvic fins. The pelvic fins are smaller than the first dorsal fin, and the pectoral fins are large. The anal fin and caudal fins are present too. They lack a nictitating membrane (third eyelid).

How cute are they?

The Japanese bullhead shark looks very cute, especially when they clumsily wiggle to move around. They also have ridges above their eyes that look like cat ears which make them look even cuter!

How do they communicate?

The Japanese bullhead shark of the family Heterodontidae does not have any special form of communication, but they usually communicate by arching their body and sensing vibrations. Their lateral line organ helps them to feel vibrations and navigate their surroundings. They also use light, hearing, smell, and electro-perception to communicate well.

How big is a Japanese bullhead shark?

The shark is known to have a maximum length of 3.9 ft (1.2 m). Hence, they are almost double the size of Trout fish!

How fast can a Japanese bullhead shark move?

The Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus japonicus) is known to be very clumsy and move very slowly by using its dorsal fins to push itself forward on the rocky ocean bottoms.

How much does a Japanese bullhead shark weigh?

The information on the weight of a Japanese bullhead shark is not available, but in general, a female bullhead shark weighs around the range 290-308.6 lb (130-140 kg) while an average male weighs 209 lb (95 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

They are usually called male Japanese bullhead sharks and female Japanese bullhead sharks.

What would you call a baby Japanese bullhead shark?

There is no specific name for baby Japanese bullhead sharks but baby sharks are usually called pups.

What do they eat?

Being carnivorous, the Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus japonicus) consumes various other sea animals, including shrimp, crabs, worms, small fishes, and mollusks (including top shells).

Are they poisonous?

Japanese bullhead sharks are not poisonous and generally stay docile unless threatened. Therefore, they are not harmful to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

The Japanese bullhead sharks would not make very good pets since they tend to live in the ocean and consume mollusks, small fishes, and sea urchins, which might be difficult to provide at home. Though, they are kept as an exhibit in various aquariums around the world, especially in Japan.

Did you know...

Kesen-Numa is a very famous fishing port in Japan known to catch the most number of sharks. Almost 124 species of sharks live in Japanese water. The scalloped shark and the great hammerhead shark are few such examples. Although found in a few more countries, the Japanese bullhead shark has suddenly disappeared off the coast of the Bo Sea, which is on the east coast of northern China, most likely due to climate change.

Are they dangerous?

The Japanese bullhead shark is not dangerous to humans, but one should be careful around their dorsal spine.

What are the different types of bullhead sharks?

There are nine living bullhead shark species known: horn shark (Heterodontus francisci), whitespotted bullhead shark (Heterodontus ramalheira), crested bullhead shark (Heterodontus galeatus), Oman bullhead shark (Heterodontus omanensis), Japanese bullhead shark  (Heterodontus japonicus), zebra bullhead shark (Heterodontus zebra), Mexican hornshark (Heterodontus mexicanus), Port Jackson shark (Heterodontus portusjacksoni), Galapagos bullhead shark (Heterodontus quoyi).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our Swai fish interesting facts and skate fish surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Japanese bullhead shark coloring pages.

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