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 Bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus)

  Index
> Photo
> Range Map
> Systematics
> Name
> Appearance
> Coloration
> Distribution
> Biology
> Feeding
> Size
> Reproduction
> Similar Species
> Endangerment
> Danger to Humans

 Photo

Bluntnose sixgill shark
© Saul Gonor / SeaPics
 Range Map

Earth Map


 Systematics

Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Frilled and cow sharks (Hexanchiformes)
    Family: Cow sharks (Hexanchidae)
      Genus: Hexanchus (Hexanchus)


 Name

Scientific: Hexanchus griseus
German: Sechskiemerhai
English: Bluntnose sixgill shark
French: Requin griset
Spanish: Canabota gris


 Appearance

Broad-headed shark, with six gill slits and subterminal mouth. Small, green fluorescent eyes. Only one dorsal fin. Its origin is over the free rear ends of the pelvic fins. Short caudal peduncle.

 Coloration

The dorsal surface is greyish-black or chocolate brown. Lighter marking along lateral lines. Ventral surface greyish-white. Fins with small white edges.

 Distribution

Wide-ranging. Western Atlantic: North Carolina to Florida, and northern Gulf of Mexico. Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela and southern Brazil. northern Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: Iceland, Norway to Senegal. Mediterranean. South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Aldabra and Comores Islands. Western Pacific: Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Sumatra, Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania), New Zealand. Central Pacific: Hawaiian Islands, Palau. Eastern Pacific: Aleutian Islands to Baja California, Mexico and Chile.

 Biology

This species lives preferably in deeper waters over the continental shelves and upper slopes, down to about 2000 m. Sluggish, but a strong swimmer, normally found close to the bottom but can ascend to the surface when feeding. Nocturnal, rests on bottom during daytime. Juveniles often found close inshore.

 Feeding

Fishes, sharks and rays.

 Size

Very large, average size about 350 cm to 400 cm, maximum total length about 480 cm and 720 kg.

 Reproduction

Aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous). Litter size between 22 and 108 pups. Size at birth between 65 cm and 70 cm. Sexual maturity seems to be reached with a size of about 400 cm.

 Similar Species

but that species has a more pointed snout and is much smaller.

 Endangerment

Status in the IUCN Red List(1994):

Main criterion: > LR/nt (Low Risk/Near Threatened (1994))
Sub criterion:
Trend: Unknown


 Danger to Humans

Seems to be harmless.



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