Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: ODONTASPIDIDAE, Sandtiger Sharks

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

heavy body
snout long, bulbous, conical
2 large Ds
broad, angular fins
teeth = daggers





Large (to 4.1 m), bulky sharks; eyes lack a nictitating membrane; tiny spiracles present; snout conical, bulbous; a long, angular mouth that extends back well past the eyes; large unserrated dagger-like teeth with small points on each side of base; 5 gill slits, not long, all before pectoral base; 2 dorsal fins, large, similar size; anal fin as large as 2nd dorsal; a pit on top of tail base before tail fin; tail fin large, strongly asymmetrical, top lobe notched below tip.

These sharks are active predators of a variety of small to moderately large fishes, small sharks, rays, squids, crabs, and lobsters.

The family contains two genera and three species. They are distributed in all tropical and temperate seas. A single, circumglobal, species occurs in our region.