Heptranchias perlo (Bonnaterre, 1788)
Sharpnose sevengill shark
Heptranchias perlo
photo by Vaske Jr., T.

Family:  Hexanchidae (Cow sharks)
Max. size:  137 cm TL (male/unsexed); 140 cm TL (female)
Environment:  bathydemersal; marine; depth range 0 - 1000 m
Distribution:  Circumglobal in tropical and temperate seas, excluding the northeast Pacific (Ref. 13573). Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico to Cuba, then from Venezuela to Argentina (Ref. 6871). Eastern Atlantic: Morocco to Namibia, including the Mediterranean Sea. Indian Ocean: southwestern India, Aldabra Island, southern Mozambique, and South Africa. Western Pacific: Japan to China, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Southeast Pacific: off northern Chile.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0; Vertebrae: 125-161. A narrow-headed, big-eyed small seven-gilled shark (Ref. 247). Body fusiform and slender; dorsal fin small, originating over inner margins of pelvic fins; anal fin small (Ref. 6871). Teeth wide, low and comb-shaped (Ref. 6871). Brownish grey above, paler below, sometimes with indistinct dark blotches on body; juveniles with dark-tipped dorsal and caudal fins, adults with light fin margins (Ref. 5578, 6574, 6871). Live specimens with fluorescent green eyes (Ref. 6871).
Biology:  Found on the outer continental and insular shelves and upper slopes in depths of 100 to 400 (Ref. 13573, 11230), also inshore and down to 1,000 m (Ref. 6871, 11230). Feeds on small sharks and rays, small bony fish, shrimps, crabs, lobsters, squid, and cuttlefish (Ref. 5578). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205), with 9-12 young born per litter (Ref. 247). Very active and aggressive when captured and quick to bite but too small to be very dangerous to people (Ref. 247). Liver utilized as a source of oil. Maximum length may reach 214 cm, but this is uncertain.
IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened (NT); Date assessed: 30 April 2003 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  poisonous to eat
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 19.05.14
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 15.05.98

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