The peculiar-looking eastern angel shark (Squatina albipunctata) resembles a ray more than a shark, due to its largely flattened body, which enables it to lie buried in sediment. The large pectoral and pelvic fins of the eastern angel shark extend out to the side, and also extend along the length of the shark's body. The wing-like shape of these fins gives this species its common name of ‘angel shark’ (2).
The tail of the eastern angel shark bears two small, characteristic dorsal fins, the front one slightly larger than the back. These dorsal fins are set further back on the body than is typical in most other sharks (2).
The eastern angel shark has a broad, blunt snout which bears fleshy barbels, which are used for taste and touch. The eyes are very small, even smaller than the spiracles, and are set on a slightly concave head. This species possesses a small but sharp set of teeth on both the upper and lower jaw (2).
The eastern angel shark’s colouration and markings provide excellent camouflage against the ocean floor. Its upperparts vary in colour from yellow-brown to rich chocolate-brown, and are decorated with brown patches and small white spots with a dark outline. The underside of the body is pale white (2).
- Male length: up to 110 cm (1)
- Female length: up to 130 cm (1)
- Male weight: up to 8 kg (1)
- Female weight: up to 20 kg (1)