Clip | Nature's Miniature Miracles - Shark Avoids Death by Walking to Safety

The epaulette shark’s small size allows it to thrive in shallow coral reefs. But when the tide rolls out it can be left high and dry. To avoid baking in the hot  sun, the epaulette has evolved an extraordinary strategy–it walks to water.

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[Narrator] The tide is still dropping.

(running water) (forlorn stings) And soon, the epaulette's left high and dry.

(forlorn strings) If he's not careful, he'll barbecue in the scorching Australian sun.

Even more alarmingly, this fish out of water is struggling to breathe.

But the miraculous epaulette has evolved an extraordinary strategy to cope with this.

(hopeful music) (breathing) By slowing his breathing and heart rate, and powering down his brain, he can survive on his last breath for up to an hour.

When oxygen levels get critical, another incredible survival strategy kicks in.

(hopeful music) His fins turn into prototype legs.

(running water) This cunning fish breaks all the rules.

(blurb) And he's the only shark that can walk himself out of danger.