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|SPINED PYGMY SHARK
The spined pygmy shark is one of the smallest sharks; it is roughly 7 to 8 inches (18 to 21 cm) long (females are about 8 inches = 21 cm long; males average about 7 inches = 18 cm long). The largest known spined pygmy shark was 11 inches long (28 cm). This deep water shark has a spine in front of its first dorsal fin but not in front of the second dorsal fin (this is unique among sharks). It has a luminescent (glow-in-the-dark) belly.
This harmless shark is very sleek and has a bulbous snout. It has a large spiracle (an extra, round gill slit) behind each large eye. It is dark-gray to black with white-tipped fins and bio-luminescence (luminous photophores) on its belly; these photophores light up and may serve as camouflage (they eliminate shadows when seen from below).
The spined pygmy shark averages 7 to 8 inches (18 to 21 cm) long (females are about 8 inches = 21 cm long; males average about 7 inches = 18 cm long).
The upper teeth are narrow and small; the lower teeth and larger and knife-like. The smooth teeth are located in rows which rotate into use as needed. The first two rows are used in obtaining prey, the other rows rotate into place as they are needed. As teeth are lost, broken, or worn down, they are replaced by new teeth that rotate into place.
DIET AND FEEDING HABITS
It eats squid, shrimp, and mid-water fish (especially lanternfishes). This uncommon shark lives in deep water (down to 6,550 ft = 2,000 m) but migrates vertically each day to hunt at night in mid-depth waters (about 650 ft = 200 m).
The spined pygmy shark lives in deep waters (down to 6,550 ft = 2,000 m) but hunts at middle depths (about 650 ft = 200 m).
The spined pygmy shark is found in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide.
SPINED PYGMY SHARK ATTACKS
The spined pygmy shark is rarely seen by divers since it lives in deep waters. It is harmless to people.
The spined pygmy shark's reproductive biology is unknown.
This uncommon shark lives in deep water (down to 6,550 ft = 2,000 m) but migrates vertically each day to hunt at night in mid-depth waters (about 650 ft = 200 m).
The spined pygmy shark is rare.
SPINED PYGMY SHARK CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom Animalia (animals)
SubPhylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Order Squaliformes (dogfish sharks)
BLACKTIP REEF SHARK
BLUNTNOSE SIXGILL SHARK
BROADNOSE SEVENGILL SHARK
GREAT WHITE SHARK
SPINED PYGMY SHARK
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