The Sevengill Shark

Sea Life | | March 25, 2010 at 13:52

Hello Ocean Lovers!

Every Other Breath is From the Ocean

Beached Sevengill Shark   photo by Terry Lilley

Here is a critter from our San Luis Obispo County coastal waters for you to enjoy!

Please support the movement to establish the Central Coast Extension of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

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Sevengill Shark

Sevengill Shark        Notorynchus cepedianus
According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Growing up to 10 feet long (3 m), the sevengill shark has a wide head with a blunt nose and only one dorsal (top) fin (most sharks have two), and seven pairs of gill slits (most sharks have five). Its back and sides are reddish brown to silvery gray, or olive-brown and speckled with many small black spots, and its underbelly is cream colored.

Sevengill Shark Teeth photo by Terry Lilley

The teeth on this shark’s lower jaw are comb shaped, and the teeth in the upper jaw are jagged. When biting large prey, the shark anchors its jaw with the lower teeth, and then thrashes its head back and forth to saw off pieces of flesh with the upper teeth.

Sevengill sharks prowl for food in shallow inshore waters, and they appear in deeper waters along the continental shelf. These sharks prey on almost anything, including octopuses, rays, other sharks, bony fishes and carrion, and may hunt in packs for seals. They are powerful swimmers that can be aggressive if provoked, and are considered potentially dangerous to humans.

During March 2010, two sevengill sharks were caught at Shell Beach. After each catch, harbor seals were seen in the water.
Carol Georgi, Volunteer

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