Shark's Short Stay Ashore

Found in canyon of Monterey Bay, rare shark returns to ocean

It turned out to be a very quick visit for a new attraction at the the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

A rarely seen prickly shark was on display for all of 15 hours before biologists decided he wasn't doing well and hauled him back to the Monterey Bay where he was found just the day before.

They said it appeared the shark was too buoyant to swim easily and decided that it was in his best interest to return it to the wild as soon as possible.

They were able to tag it and hope to be able to follow it for the next six months or so. 

The lucky few who caught a glimpse Tuesday saw an odd looking fish.  Pricklies have rough, thorn like spines on their upper body. Its other distinctive feature is two dorsal fins near the tale, rather than the single fin associated with most sharks.

The deepwater shark was "collected" from the Monterey Bay Tuesday evening and immediately went into the deep water tank at the aquarium.

This is only the second time that a prickly has been alive outside the wild.  The shark will stay at the aquarium as long as it is in good health.

The only other prickly shark ever on display was back in July 1990.  It was returned to the ocean after a week.

Prickly sharks are usually found around the Pacific Rim at depths of to 3,000 feet.  This one was found at the head of the Monterey submarine canyon off Moss Landing.

Here are the big guy's stats:  6-foot 8-inches, male, 189 pounds.

It is a slow moving bottom-dweller that feeds on fish, other sharks, octopus, squid and crustaceans. It carries fertilized eggs inside its body but gives birth to live young.

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