The spiny dogfish, aka piked dogfish, spiky dog, or rock salmon, is among the most prevalent shark species in the world. They get their name due to the fact that they have the habit of chasing down smaller fish while in packs, like dogs would. They also possess 2 sharp and venomous spines. Unfortunately, these sharks, and their subspecies, are listed as Vulnerable to Endangered. This is due to overfishing and the horrible practice of finning. Finning is where a shark is pulled from the water, its fins cut off their body, and then the shark is thrown back into the water to die slowly by bleeding out or being eaten by other sharks. All to make shark fin soup. These sharks are also sometimes used as the “fish” in fish and chips, in Europe.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Squalus acanthias
Weight: Up to 49 inches
Length: Up to 22 lbs.
Lifespan: Up to 80 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Dogfish are diurnal (active during the day).
2.) These sharks prey on herring, capelin, mackerel, squid, and jellyfish.
4.) Spiny dogfish are a highly migratory species. 1 tagged individual in Washington made a 5,000 mile trip to Japan!
5.) They can be found at depths of up to 3,000 feet.
But wait, there’s more on the spiny dogfish!
6.) Other common names for these sharks are Cape shark, Cape dogfish, grayfish, spur dog, spring dogfish, and spiked dogfish.
7.) Females undergo the longest known gestation (pregnancy) of any vertebrate… up to 2 years!
Did you know…?
Spiny dogfish possess sharp, venomous spines in front of each dorsal fin. The venom won’t kill a human, but can cause agonizing pain when stung.
8.) Up to 12 eggs develop inside the female. They get their nutrients from yolk sacs. When ready to be born, they will emerge from their eggs and are born live.
9.) Like other sharks, the pups are born precocial (self sufficient).
10.) Pups are bold hunters, going after prey 2 – 3 times their own size.
But wait, there’s still more on the spiny dogfish!
11.) Female sharks don’t reach sexual maturity till the age of 35. Males at the age of 19.
12.) They prefer temperate and subarctic water.
13.) Fishermen are now required to carry a permit to harvest spiny dogfish.
14.) Catch limits, commercial quotas, and trip limits are in place to help preserve the species.
Now a Short Spiny Dogfish Video!
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