SAN FRANCISCO (July 31, 2012) – Today, aquarium biologists introduced six striped pyjama sharks to the popular African penguin exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. The sharks and penguins are expected to
cohabitate peacefully as they are natural neighbors, both occupying niche areas in their native habitat off of the South African coast. The pyjama sharks, docile and mild-mannered, are nocturnal and will likely spend most of their time in the crevices and caves built for them by Academy biologists, posing no threat to the energetic penguins.
Born at an aquarium in Lisbon, Portugal, the sharks were acquired by Steinhart Aquarium several months ago in an effort to enhance the exhibit by showcasing two species that rarely live together in captivity. Since their arrival, Academy biologists have implemented a formal training plan to regulate their feeding habits. The goal of this plan is to attract the
sharks, typically nocturnal bottom feeders, closer to the surface for feeding and monitoring,
allowing biologists to keep a watchful eye on their progress.
Named for its appearance, the pyjama shark is identified typically by its body pattern of long, dark stripes, and prominent but short nasal barbells. Upon hatching, pyjama sharks generally measure between 14-15 centimeters and can grow up to 100 centimeters as adults. The Academy’s pyjama sharks, four female and two male, arrived at a length of 40 centimeters and continue to grow.