Wednesday 15 May
Bramble shark (Echinorhinus brucus)
Bramble shark fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Bramble shark description
The most unusual feature of this sluggish shark is the sharp tooth-like denticles scattered over its body and fins (2) (3). A stout-bodied animal with soft, flabby skin, the dorsal side of the bramble shark ranges in colour from dark grey through to olive, brown or black, while below it is a paler brown, grey or white. Metallic reflections are visible along its back and the denticles can appear luminescent, despite lacking any specialised luminous organs (2) (4). It notably lacks an anal fin and both dorsal fins are set well back on the body towards the tail, beginning just behind the start of the pelvic fin (2) (4) (5).
- Also known as
- Spinous shark, spiny shark. Top
- In the fishing industry, the part of the catch made up of non-target species.
- In some fish, modified scales that resemble teeth.
- Ovovivipary is a method of reproduction whereby the egg shell is weakly formed and young hatch inside the female; they are nourished by their yolk sac and then ‘born’ live.
- IUCN Red List (February, 2009)
- Florida Museum of Natural History (February, 2009)
- Campbell, A. and Dawes, J. (2004) Encyclopedia of Underwater Life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C. (1953) Fishes in the Gulf of Maine. Fishery Bulletin of the Fish and Wildlife Service, 53: 1 - 577. Available at:
- Daley, R.K., Stevens, J.D., Last, P.R. and Yearsley, G.K. (2002) Field guide to Australian sharks and rays. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Bramble shark biology
A sluggish, bottom dwelling species, very little is known about the life history of the bramble shark, but it is thought likely to be slow growing and late maturing (1) (2) (4). With bony fish, small sharks and crustaceans being common prey, it is probably capable of short bursts of speed whilst hunting (1).
Employing an ovoviviparous reproductive mode, the 15 to 20 pups that comprise a litter, develop within eggs inside the mother’s body and emerge alive after hatching (1) (2). Nothing is known about the length of time the pups take to develop or the amount of time between successive breeding (1).Top
Bramble shark rangeTop
Bramble shark habitatTop
Bramble shark status
Classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Bramble shark threats
Frustratingly little is known about the conservation status of this seemingly rare deepwater species. Although the bramble shark is probably not a frequent component of fisheries bycatch, there is some evidence that it is declining in the Northeast Atlantic. The concern is that if the bramble shark does exhibit a slow rate of reproduction, as is suspected, it is that much more susceptible to a rapid decline in population size (1).Top
Bramble shark conservation
In the absence of adequate information to determine the conservation status of the bramble shark, it is currently classified as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List (1). Consequently, further research into this species’ biology and population is vital before any necessary conservation measures can be implemented.Top
Find out more
To find out more about the conservation of sharks see:Top
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: email@example.comTop
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.