Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: HEXANCHIDAE, Sevengill Sharks, Sixgill Sharks, Cowsharks


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

1D, behind pelvic
C very asymmetric
top teeth 1 point, lower comb-like
6-7 gill slits

FAMILY HEXANCHIDAE

COWSHARKS, SIXGILL SHARKS, SEVENGILL SHARKS

Small to large (to 4.8 m), slender to stout sharks; head and snout wide and rounded or narrow and pointed; small spiracle present, well behind eye; mouth long, reaches back well past eye; lower teeth comblike (long, low, serrated), larger and wider than upper teeth, which have one point; 6 or 7 long gill slits, none over pectoral base; one dorsal fin, behind the pelvic fins, at rear of body near tail; no fin spines; tail fin very asymmetrical, with small lower lobe.

This family, with two genera and three species, occurs in tropical to temperate parts of all 3 oceans; all genera and species occur in the region.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER CARPENTER (2002)