Stella lives in our Eddystone Reef Exhibit along with fellow smooth hounds – Draco, Hydra, Ursa and Hercules. She’s a starry smooth hound (Mustelus asterias) and can be identified by the white speckles on her back, resembling a starry sky! Reaching a total length of around 140 cm, their scientific name comes from the Latin word mustela, meaning weasel, referring to their rounded snout and small visible teeth. Unlike more commonly known shark teeth however, smooth hound diets have led to them having blunt plates for crushing instead – on prey such as crustaceans, shellfish, and molluscs.
Smooth hounds can be found in British waters, along with every other species in our Eddystone exhibit like the conger eels, spider crabs, cuckoo wrasse, and much more! Be sure to check out these incredible little sharks on your next visit!