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Family: CENTROPHORIDAE, Gulper Sharks


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

both Ds - grooved spine
D1 =/> D2
D1 origin over/behind pectoral base
C v asymmetrical, notch under top lobe, base no keel
top & bottom teeth dissimilar, top << bottom
no A

FAMILY CENTROPHORIDAE

GULPER SHARKS

Small to moderately large sharks; no nictitating eyelids; spiracles present, large, just behind eye; upper teeth much smaller than lower, overlapping, upper and lower broad and blade-like, with single point; five gill slits, all before pectoral fin; two dorsal fins with large grooved spines; first dorsal equal to or slightly larger than second dorsal, its origin over or just behind rear of pectoral base; no anal fin; tail base without keels; tail fin strongly asymmetrical, upper lobe with notch under tip.

Gulper sharks generally occur in deep water near the bottom in 200 to 4000 m. These bottom living sharks consume mainly on fishes and cephalopods, but eat small sharks, crustaceans and sea squirts.

With two genera and 13 species the family is circumglobal and found in most seas from the tropics to Iceland. Five species in two genera in our region

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER CARPENTER (2002)