Komodo Island

About Bamboo Sharks

Bamboo Sharks as well as Nurse Sharks and Whale Sharks belong to a family of sharks commonly called “carpet sharks”. These animals received this name through their carpet-like markings.

Sharks are different from the bony fishes that are commonly seen in our lakes and streams in Ohio in the following ways. First, sharks, skates, and rays all belong to the order chondricthyes. Members of this group of animals all have skeletons that are cartilaginous rather than bony. Secondly, sharks do not have traditional scales that cover their body. Instead they have denticles that make their skin very tough and rough. The denticle is a tooth-like scale with a central pulp cavity and is made of dentine. Third, whereas bony fishes utilize a swim bladder to move up and down within the water column, sharks produce a substance called squalene. Squalene is an oil that gives the shark buoyancy and is produced by their liver. Lastly, bony fishes have one gill opening, but sharks have 5-7 gill slits on either side of their head.

Bamboo Sharks have two barbels that hang from each nostril. These barbels are sensory organs that are used to search for food. They also have pronounced nasaloral grooves. These grooves connect the nostrils to the mouth.

Bamboo Shark at the Akron Zoo