Shark Family Tree

Haploblepharus: Happy Sharks

The Genus Haploblepharus includes four species of Scyliorhinidae (catsharks) endemic to the Southeast Atlantic and Indian Oceans off the coast of southern Africa. These small, broad-snouted sharks have been observed curling their caudal fins over their heads as a form of defense, earning them the common name “Shyshark.” They also have local nicknames based on their scientific names: Happy Eddie, Plain Happy, Happy Chappie and Pretty Happy.

The Happy Sharks are a good example of the importance of taxonomic clarity. Happy Eddie (H. edwardsii) used to be thought to roam along most of the South African coastline. When more recent research revealed that some specimens were actually a different species of Haploblepharus, researchers verified that Happy Eddie’s range was actually much smaller, and the species was far less abundant.

Happy Sharks slide

 

H edwardsii slide       H fuscus slide       H kistnasamy slide       H pictus slide

 

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