Brownbanded bamboo shark
Earlier this year, this newsletter reported on the completely unexpected birth of two blacktip reef sharks in the Emmen (Netherlands) zoo. The birth was so surprising because, though this shark is common in aquariums and zoos, it was the first reported birth of this species in captivity.
The two young blacktip reef sharks had been transferred from the large tank to a separate aquarium, which they have since outgrown. One of the sharks was moved to a different zoo, the other to a large tank behind the scenes in Emmen. The smaller aquarium they left behind is again in use: it is the temporary home of ten young brownbanded bamboo sharks. The animals are still small and tend to stay out of sight among the rocks, but when their keeper throws a few mussels into the tank, they all come out to get their share. Anyone witnessing the feeding wonders where all the sharks had been hiding.
The brownbanded bamboo shark is a small, tropical shark species that grows up to 105 cm long and can weigh 15 kg. These sharks live in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean, especially near coral reefs near the coast. They feed on shrimp, squid and small fish. Young brownbanded bamboo sharks are marked with a black-and-white striped pattern, like a zebra. With age, the stripes fade to light and dark brown.