Identity card

LATIN NAME: Hemiscyllium ocellatum

FAMILY: Hemiscylliidae

PHYLUM: Chordata

CLASS: Chondrichthyes

Originating from the Western Pacific, this shark is also known as the “walking shark” from the way it uses its fins.

The epaulette shark lives mainly in shallow, tropical coastal waters, on coral flats.

It can be recognised by the large black spot behind its pectoral fins and the little black dots all over its body.

The epaulette shark feeds on small fish, worms and crustaceans.

It grows up to 1.10 m long.

  • Distribution :

    Western Pacific Ocean, in the coral waters of northern Australia and Papua-New Guinea.
  • IUCN Status :

    Least concern. It is, however, a protected species in the Great Barrier Reef region of Australia.

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Did you know ?

Find out more about the Epaulette shark
Biomimetics: the shark has inspired the creation of some innovative technologies. Its skin has been used as a model for creating antibacterial, hydro/aerodynamic and antifouling clothing; its fins have helped to improve the stability of airplanes thanks to “sharklets” and the shape of its tail has served as inspiration for tidal steam generators.

It is commonly known as the walking shark as it uses its fins to move around the sea floor.

It can survive for a time in poorly-oxygenated waters such as a pool at low tide; its brain shuts down any non-essential functions.

The epaulette shark is oviparous. Pouches containing two eggs are laid at night. A pair of eggs can be produced every 14 days. Breeding takes place between July and November, and the eggs are laid from August to December.



Crédits photo du bandeau : © P. Duval
Crédits photo de la galerie : © NAUSICAA

Activities AT NAUSICAA


Every day, there are events focused on Nausicaa’s main species. With training and feeding sessions and talks on life in Europe’s largest aquarium, your visit will be a rich and entertaining experience!
Learn about the life of fishes, hear some surprising stories and enjoy the antics of some amazing animals.

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