The Desert Shark

 There are many nasty and potentially fatal animals in Australia. It is time I explained about one of these dangers which has been largely unreported. Because it lives in extremely remote areas of the Outback, it is rarely seen and few photographs have been taken. The Australian Desert Shark is thought to be rare although its range and numbers are subject to error and debate.

The following information was taken from an Australian Government Environment site.

Desert Shark (Carcharhinus Dessicans); medium-sized, aggressive shark found in both the big and little Sandy Deserts of North Western Australia. There are unconfirmed reports of it having been seen in the Tanimi and Gibson deserts of Central Australia.

Lightly camouflaged with its reddish tinted skin, this carnivore “swims” through the sand, fatally surprising small reptiles and burrowing marsupials. It sometimes surfaces, ambushing unsuspecting spinefix pigeons while they feed on the ground. Occasionally, human feet can be a target.

Generally solitary, they come together in large schools around the middle of the Australian Autumn for mating. The resultant young are born during Spring and are deserted at birth. They are a favourite meal for burrowing monitor lizards. Should a young desert shark survive its first six months then it has little to fear other than larger desert sharks.

I have been able to retrieve several photographs from internet sources. This first one gives the lie to the fact that Desert Sharks only hunt underground.

Desert Shark leaping at a Fork-Tailed Kite

This next one shows a Desert Shark trap being built. Desert Shark is considered a delicacy by the local indigenous tribes and they have quickly adapted the materials the European settlers have provided.

 Desert Shark

Should there be any more photographs of the Australian Desert Shark out there, I would be pleased to publish them. My email is in the sidebar.


14 responses to “The Desert Shark

  1. I didnt know about these guys. Maybe David Attenborough should be informed and a documentary be filmed about them.

    Although Id like to know, how does the trap work?


  2. Attenborough declined the opportunity to film these guys. He muttered something about too much danger and hurriedly left Australia, pursued by stingers!
    Traditionally heavy duty chicken wire is strung between the supports and the whole thing is half-buried at an angle of 45 degrees. The shark hits the buried trap and bounces to the surface. As it cannot swim through the wire, it cooks in the sun. Recently the Asian cooking influence has led to a number of experiments being done with razor wire. Instant Desert Shark Sushi is the aim.


  3. Anything similar to the old Saturday Night Live Land Shark ?


  4. Thats typically Attneborough. Always in the edit room talking behind a mic. Leaving the “dangerous/real” stuff to his lonely cameraman.


  5. I saw one of these things once. It was massive. I couldn’t stop to take a photo as I was being pursued by a pack of drop bears at the time.


  6. The Boy, Attenborough is sorta like the Dick Cheney of nature photography – – –

    Metro, I have a feeling you spotted a Bunyip. Drop Bears live in trees(so you now know what it feels like to be hunted by Bonobos) and tree roots make it difficult for the desert Shark to swim in the sand. I will be writing about Bunyips soon.


  7. They were Great Red Desert drop bears. They look like the common or garden variety, but lacking the height advantage coferred by dwelling in trees they have evolved massive, kangaroo-like hind legs and a backside thickly padded with a horn-like material, similar to the “helmet” of a cassowary.

    Their hunting technique is to launch themselves into the air almost vertically, landing bottom-first on the head of their prey. A startled pack makes a beautiful sight as they strek toward the heavens, then thunder to the ground, ricocheting about the arid plains. Unfotunately, it’s a sight most see only once. I’m a very lucky person. Buy me a few of whatever WA residents drink and I’ll tell you a pack of lies about it sometime.


  8. The Great Desert Drop Bear is just an Urban Myth. Popular tho the tale has become, there is no proof of its existence. It is like the story that Aussies put around about Foster’s Beer. No Aussie would ever drink that stuff but we enjoy watching, and sniggering behind our hands, as the gullible furriners drink the stuff and pretentiously pretend it to be worthy of that drinking.


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  11. you guys are gayer than hell its so fake


  12. Oh, phillip, If only you knew! The Australian Government has imposed severe penalties for publishing actual photographs of desert sharks (and drop bears because of the damage that could do to Australia’s Tourist Industry. I had to make the photos look fake so I could stay out of gaol.


  13. I had been just browsing for appropriate blog articles for my project homework and I happened to stumble upon yours. Thanks for the valuable material!


  14. g2-5bba245eb6db01d36e28de6648a6336a

    the same as the drop bear anyone releasing information about these creatures is labeled insane by our government

    For the sake of our tourism industry these creatures must remain a dark hidden secret


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