Swellshark beautifully screenprinted with four color inks on Deep Turquoise Bella Canvas brand, 100% cotton, 4.5oz ring spun, super soft t-shirt.
The word "shark" conjures up all sorts of imagery for people around the world. Missile shaped bodies and conical heads filled with teeth, roaring up from the deep while a John Williams soundtrack chums away in the background. While there are certainly a handful of the 400 known species of sharks that may fit that description, and rightfully ignite that type of excitement or fear that we associate with such animals, there are huge swaths of shark species that are the antithesis to the "JAWS" stereotype.
Enter the Swellshark; a potbellied, leopard spotted, cat-eyed, lounging little fellow who spends his days hiding his small body in the nooks and crannies of North-America's chilly west-coast rugged reefs. With a maximum length of only about four feet, the Swellshark is easy pickings for large predators in these frigid waters; from the hefty Sevengill and Sixgill sharks that prowl murky kelp forests and deep rocky bottoms, to the large, omni-present pinnipeds such as sealions and even harbor seals. The Swellshark's defense against such attacks is how he earned his name.
When feeling threatened, the Swellshark ducks into a rocky crevice or cave, and actually swells up its already portly body, inhaling water to fill his belly like a balloon, effectively wedging himself in to the cracks and preventing predators from pulling him out. Sometimes the Swellshark even bites his own tail, forming a ring with his body, making it harder for predators to grab on to him.
-Aaron John Gregory, Cotton Crustacean