The Digital Fish Library

Advanced Search

Squatinidae (Angel Sharks)

Species Currently in the DFL

Results: Viewing items 1-1 of 1.
Previous  |   1   |  Next
3D SpecimenMRI SagittalMRI HorizontalMRI AxialSpecies
Squatina californica
Pacific Angel Shark
About This Family
Atlantic, Pacific, and southwestern Indian Oceans.
Sand and mud bottoms on continental shelves and upper slopes.
These odd sharks have broad, flat, ray-like bodies, with eyes located on the dorsal side of the head. The pectoral fins and pelvic fins are large and held horizontally, however the rear portion of the body is more shark-like and muscular. Angel Sharks have two spineless dorsal fins, no anal fin and five gill slits, located on the ventral side of the body. The mouth and nostrils are terminal, and the nostrils have barbels on the anterior side. Although rare in sharks, the lower lobe of the caudal fin is longer than the upper lobe.

Angelsharks are lie-in-wait predators. They bury themselves in the sand and jump up to quickly snap prey with highly-protrusible jaws. They eat small bony fishes, crustaceans, cephalopods, gastropods and bivalves.

Up until the 1970's, Angelsharks were of no interest to fisheries. However during the latter half of that decade there was an increased interest in the animals. They were intensively overfished to the point where many species are now considered critically endangered.

Members of this family typically grow to 1.5 m in length, however the maximum length is 2 m TL, attained by Squatina japonica.

This family comprises one genus Squatina with 15 species.

Nelson 2006; Compagno in FAO
Copyright © 2009 Digital Fish Library. All Rights Reserved.
Contact Us  |   Terms of Use  |   Help