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Hexanchus griseus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
Bluntnose Six-gill Shark; Bull Shark; Cow Shark; Grey Shark; Mud Shark; Squalus griseus Bonnaterre, 1788

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Hexanchus griseus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Hexanchus griseus

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Hexanchus griseus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Hexanchus griseus

Main identification features Six large gill slits, none over pectoral base; head and snout wide, rounded; eyes relatively small; upper teeth small, with 1 large oblique point; lower teeth large, wide with saw-like row of small teeth along top; 1 dorsal fin, at rear of body near tail; tail with small lower lobe.

Grey to black above, paler to white below, no dark spots.

Size: 482 cm.

Habitat: bottom and mid-water.

Depth: 0-3000 m.

A warm to cold temperate, circumglobal species that enters the northern and southern fringes of our region (southern Baja California and southern Colombia to Peru).
Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California); Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo); South Temperate (Peruvian Province ); Antitropical (North and South temperate).
Depth Range Max: 3000 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: sea snakes/mammals/turtles/birds; mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs); octopus/squid/cuttlefish; sharks/rays; bony fishes.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=49; Southern limit=-42; Western limit=-124; Eastern limit=-73; Latitudinal range=91; Longitudinal range=51.
Egg Type: Live birth; No pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Bentho-Pelagic.
Global Endemism: Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans); East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West); Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America); East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West); All Pacific (West + Central + East); TEP non-endemic; "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom); Sand & gravel; Rocks; Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove); Reef (rock &/or coral); Reef and soft bottom; Water column.
Inshore Offshore: In & Offshore; Offshore; Inshore.
IUCN Red List: Near threatened; Listed.
Length Max: 482 cm.
Regional Endemism: Continent; Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; Continent only; California + Peruvian provinces, primarily; Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily; All species.
Residency: Vagrant.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Bottom; Near Bottom; Bottom + water column;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Acevedo , G. , Rubio , E. A. and Zapata, L. A., 1998., Primer hallazgo del tiburon cañabota Hexanchus griseus (Bonaterre, 1788) (Pisces: Chondrichthyes, Hexanchidae) en aguas del pacifico tropical americano., Bol. Invest. Mar. Cost., 27:39-44.
  • Bonnaterre, J. P., 1788., Tableau encyclopédique et méthodique des trois règnes de la nature... Ichthyologie. Paris., Tabl. Encyclop. Méthod. Ichthyol., :1-215.
  • Compagno, L.J.V., 1999., Checklist of living elasmobranchs. In Hamlett W.C. (ed.) Sharks, skates, and rays: the biology of elasmobranch fishes., The John Hopkins University Press:471-498.
  • Eschmeyer , W. N. , Herald , E. S. and Hamman, H., 1983., A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California. Peterson Field Guide Ser. 28., Houghton Mifflin:336pp.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.


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