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Not all sharks are big or scary

Dark shysharks (Haploblepharus pictus), also known as “Pretty happy’s,” are endemic to Namibia and western South Africa.

Ever wondered what those weird brown capsules are that you find scattered on the beach? Although often referred to as mermaids purses, they are in fact shark/skate eggs.

Female dark shysharks produce 2 eggs at a time and these eggs can take 6-10 months to hatch. A newborn shark pup is tiny, measuring no more than 10-12cm.

Like most shark species, dark shysharks take a long time to reach sexual maturity, maturing at 15 years. They can reach a maximum size of 60cm and live for approximately 25 years.

A newly hatched dark shyshark pup is about the size of a small finger. Tiny as they may be, they receive no parental care or help from mom and dad. From the moment they leave their egg, they are on their own in the big blue ocean.

Equipped with super powered sharky senses and incredible instincts, these little sharks know exactly what to do, where to hide and how to hunt from the day they are born.

Why are they called shysharks? When they feel threatened, they curl up into a little donut with their tail fins covering their eyes. So cute, so special and so important to our local kelp forest environment.


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