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Fish #16 Bluntnose Six-gill Shark Hexanchus griseus ~ Andrew Whyley
Paint, pastels and pencil 25 x 50 cm
The bluntnose sixgill shark has a large body and long tail. The snout is blunt and wide, and its eyes are small. There are 6 rows of saw-like teeth on its lower jaw and smaller teeth on its upper jaw. Skin color ranges from tan, through brown, to black. It has a light-coloured lateral line down the sides and on the fins' edges, and dark coloured spots on the sides. Its pupils are black and its eye colour is a blue-green. The blunt-nose six gill shark can grow to 26 ft, adult males generally average between 10 and 11 ft while adult females average between 11 and 14 ft.
The bluntnose sixgill shark resembles many of the sharks from the Triassic period...a living fossil !!
I have loved sharks all my life and have an opportunity to swim with Basking sharks in Scotland this summer ...I can't wait !
Fish #16 Bluntnose Six-gill Shark Hexanchus griseus ~ Eleni Christoforou
Acrylic paint on fabric 54 x 91 cm
The deep and dark habitat at which the Sixgill shark lives is keeping many secrets about this organism, mysteries that scientists have yet to discovery. One of this shark's main characteristics, and the source of its name, are the six gills at each side of its head, one more than most shark species. It is thought that the higher number of gills permits the shark to reach depths up to 2000m allowing more water and thus oxygen to reach its circulatory system. This solitary by choice shark would meet a partner for the sole purpose of mating. In contrast to most animals, the female has a mean length of 4.20m, one meter larger than the male. Another feature is that, females are ovoviviparous, usually characteristic of amphibians, meaning that the eggs hatch within the mother and the young are born live. Hexanchus griseus (Latin name), usually wander at deep waters by day around tropical and temperate world oceans and come to the surface at night to prey on other sharks, fish, squid, seals and many more that cross his path. Its six rows of teeth and feeding habits should not scare us though as there was only one provoked human attack in the past 500 years. On the flip side, the Sixgill shark should be afraid of us, as it can be found fresh, frozen, dried or salted on our dinner table, minced in fish and pet food, food supplements as a source of liver oil and in fishermen's boats as game or bycatch; thus, classified as 'Near Threatened'.
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