Shark Species Walks on Land

Updated: Sep 27

And that's not all, it can survive without air for two hours too.


A team of researchers from Florida Atlantic University and Australia’s James Cook University study a unique species of shark called epaulette sharks. Remarkably, young members of this species have learned to walk on land using their paddle-shaped fins. They can also live without oxygen for about two hours and search for prey in reef regions where most other sharks would never come.


Since epaulette sharks are known to feed only on aquatic animals like small fish and not on land animals, they mostly walk in and around the reef. However, during the study, the researchers noticed that sometimes the sharks walked up to 30 meters on the dry land using their fins.


The study's authors explained this further, “such locomotor traits may not only be key to survival but also may be related to their sustained physiological performance under challenging environmental conditions, including those associated with climate change.”


The scientific name of the epaulette shark studied by the researchers is Hemiscyllium ocellatum. Interestingly, they are not the only shark species that can walk. A study published in 2020 reveals that at least nine shark species have developed the ability to dwell on land using their fins. They all belong to the genus Hemiscyllium, and most members of the genus are limited to reefs in the Malay Archipelago region.


Don't believe it? Well, seeing is believing...