Dwarf Gulper Shark

posted: 04/11/12
DCL | Drawing by Tambja

Overview - Researchers only became aware of the mysterious and threatened dwarf gulper shark in the early 20th century. A deepwater dogfish, this shark inhabits the Indian to the Pacific oceans from parts of Japan and Taiwan to northern Papua New Guinea. Its two dorsal fins come equipped with large spines that probably aid the shark in defense. This shark likely serves as prey for other shark species and numerous predators, since it is only just over 2 feet long.

Feeding Habits - Little is known about the dwarf gulper shark's diet, but its teeth and favored water depth provide some clues. The teeth in its lower jaw are much larger than the upper teeth, but all are shaped like blades for grasping and slicing. With that in mind, and the fact that this is a dogfish in the deep sea, it probably consumes things like crustaceans, various deepwater fishes, shrimp, squids and jellyfish.

Cool Fact - Some fish used to make "fish and chips" in the United Kingdom resemble the dwarf gulper shark in shape and size.

Depth - 1,476 feet

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