Spiny Dogfish Shark


OverviewSpiny dogfish are believed to be the most abundant sharks in the world. These small bottom dwellers seek out water temperatures between 45 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit throughout their wide range. They may be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

“Spiny” refers to mildly poisonous, thornlike spines located in front of each dorsal fin. The spiny dogfish is one of the most well-traveled sharks, with some individuals migrating more than 5,000 miles, which is almost equivalent in distance to flying from Los Angeles to New York City and then back again.

Feeding Habits — Like other dogfish, this species may hunt alone or in packs. An opportunistic feeder, the spiny dogfish consumes whatever it can sink its impressively sharp teeth into. The teeth overlap, forming a continuous, knifelike cutting edge. This allows them to easily chomp through such prey as capelin, cod, haddock, hake, herring, menhaden, ratfish, krill, crabs, worms, jellyfish, squid, octopus and numerous other ocean inhabitants from the surface all the way down to over 2,000 feet.

Cool Fact — Because of their relatively large numbers, spiny dogfish are among the best-known, and most frequently studied, sharks.

Common Max Depth — 2,400 feet

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