Dusky Shark

Discovery

OverviewDusky sharks used to be plentiful in their wide range, which extends to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Commercial fishing, pollution and other human-induced pressures have reduced the population substantially over the past few decades. Now they are considered to be “near threatened,” and experts remain concerned for this shark’s future.

It takes a number of years for this species to mature and grow, reaching lengths of around 13 feet. The sharks may be found in warm, temperate continental waters, sometimes favoring a certain region for months at a time before migrating. Divers near Sydney, Australia, sometimes encounter juvenile dusky sharks closer to the water’s surface.

Feeding Habits — Many sharks have a matching set of teeth, meaning that the teeth set in the upper jaw mirror those in the lower jaw. The dusky, however, bites through prey with two different sets. Its upper teeth are shaped like broad triangles with serrated edges. Its bottom teeth are more straight and pointed. When hunting, the dusky can then grab and hold its catch with the lower teeth, while the upper ones chomp down like a bread slicer.

Cool Fact — A dark stripe often appears on dusky sharks, extending from the pelvic fins to its head.

Common Max Depth — 1,240 feet

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