The cat sharks or catsharks are a large family (Scyliorhinidae) of sharks, with over 110 species recorded.
Cat sharks may be distinguished by their elongated cat-like eyes and two small dorsal fins set far back. Most species are not particularly large, with lengths up to 60-70 cm or so, although the humpback cat shark (Apristurus gibbosus) from the deep waters of the South China Sea has been recorded at 4 meters in length.
Most of the species have a patterned appearance, ranging from stripes to patches to spots. They feed on invertebrates and smaller fish. Some species are ovoviviparous while most lay eggs in tough egg-cases with curly tendrils at each end.
The "swell sharks" of the genus Cephaloscyllium have the curious ability to fill their stomachs with water or air when threatened, increasing their girth by a factor of 2 or 3.
The marbled catshark Atelomycterus macleayi is a favored type for home aquaria, because it rarely grows to more than 60 cm (2 ft) in length.
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