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Brown Cat Shark
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Scientific Name Apristurus brunneus
Conservation Status Data Defficient
Family Chordata
Habitat Northeast Pacific Rim
Food Crustaceans, Squid


Brown catsharks, Apristurus brunneus, (originally, Catulus brunneus) are commonly found in the Pacific ocean, ranging from the northern Pacific waters off the coast of British Columbia and down to the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. It is believed that they may live as far south as Ecuador and Peru. Brown Catsharks are deep water sharks that live on the outer continental shelf and the upper slope. They have been known to live in depths ranging from 30 to 650 m and live on the bottom, usually in muddy or sandy areas.

Very little is known about the behavior of brown catsharks, however they are believed to be solitary, nocturnal creatures. It is believed that they are migratory, however they live most of the year near the edge of the continental shelf.

Brown catsharks feed on many bottom-dwelling species, including small true shrimps, euphausiids, squids, and small fishes. It is unknown whether brown catsharks are important predators within their ecosystem.

It is believed that brown catsharks are preyed on by larger sharks and fish species, however these species are currently unknown.

Brown catsharks are not listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, the U.S. Federal List, or the CITES list. They are not known to be a vulnerable or threatened species. They are, however, listed on the IUCN list as needing to be reclassified.

The only known negative impact that brown catsharks have on humans is the frequent bycatch of deepwater fishing trawlers, which while not economically significant can cause damage to nets as well as time lost in removing the bycatch from the viable catch.

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