#323 Indian Swellshark

Critically Endangered

These are tiny deep water sharks from the SE coast of India. They may get to be a maximum of 20 inches long, but more likely only reach about 14 inches when they are mature. As their name probably let you know, they swell up, looking almost as if they swallowed a much too big ball. They do that as protection from predators. They are rarely seen, and it is thought that in 45 years (only 3 generations) they have lost up to 99% of their population. They have no range that is not in a heavily fished area unfortunately, so they don't really have any protection whatsoever. The females usually only have 2 young too, so there is not much hope for a population explosion helping them out.

I'm doing a shark today because my oldest's favourite animals are sharks and bats. Guess what I'm painting tomorrow?! Since he just turned 20, this is obviously an old photo. I love it though. To me, it shows his kind spirit. When he was in pre-school or kindergarten he learned that his name meant protector. He took that to mean he must always be the first to help a kid who had fallen and was crying, that he should keep his younger brother from harm, and that he should help keep spiders away from me. He is the other talker in the family, though not to my level still. He's my drummer. He is also a very old soul, never going through the usual blustery "gotta prove myself" type phase that a lot of kids do in junior high.

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